Pet Safety Tips for Kids

by Patty Letawsky, © 2008

Here, presented by permission of the author by Patty Letawsky, is a set of rhymes to remind children of the rules for behavior around dogs and cats. Below each rule is the reason which should be explained to the child. The use of rhyme can help the child to remember or at least catch the child's attention.

Pet Safety Tips for Kids

Created by Patty Letawsky

Get permission from the owner before you pet Rover.

Many dogs are very friendly, but some dogs are not. Make sure to ask the owners if their dog is friendly and if it's okay for you to pet the dog; and make sure to also ask your own parent or guardian before you pet somebody else's dog. And be sure to follow all of the safety tips!

To pet a puppy or a kitten, you must ask an adult for permission.

It is also important to ask an adult before petting puppies or kittens, especially when the mama dog or cat is present. Mothers of almost any animal are naturally protective of their babies.

Petting under the chin is where you'll begin.

After you have received permission to pet a dog, you should pet the dog under its chin or on its chest. This way the dog can see where your hand is and what you are doing. Many dogs don't like to be petted on the top of the head. They might think you are trying to hurt or dominate them.

A dog may sniff your hand in order to understand.

A dog's sense of smell is much, much greater than our own. Dogs use this sense of smell when greeting and getting to know newcomers. If a dog smells you to get to know you, let him sniff the back of your hand. This will keep your fingers out of the way as well as not threaten the dog.

If a dog has a bone, you must leave him alone.
If a dog has a snack, you must keep back.

If a dog is eating or is chewing on a bone or other item, he/she might think you are going to take it away, which could cause the dog to protect what it has by growling, snapping or biting.

Respecting their space can save your face.

It is common sense to keep a respectable distance between a child's face and the teeth of a dog or a cat, even if it is the family pet.

If you run and shout, it can freak a dog out.

The way you behave can influence the way a dog behaves. If you scream, shout, run or swing your arms or feet around dogs, they are more likely to chase or attack you.

A shy dog will think you're the bomb if your behavior is calm.

Your behavior can influence the way any dog behaves, but shy or nervous dogs can be even more affected by rambunctious children. Being calm around a shy dog can make them feel less nervous and more secure.

Whether you're a girl or a boy, never tease or annoy.

If you are teasing or annoying a dog or a cat, they can't tell you in words that they want you to stop; but they can tell you to stop by growling, biting or scratching.

Quiet and slow is the only way to go.

If you are scared of a dog, do not run or scream. It is safer to walk away slowly and quietly. As you calmly walk away, try not to stare into the dog's eyes; or the dog might think you want to fight.



Pam's comments :

Not being a member of the youngest or next youngest generation, I found the term "bomb" a bit strange ; to me it means "something likely to explode" , and that is certainly NOT what you want a shy dog, or even a bold one, to think you are. However Patty has enlightened me as to current slang :

bomb, the (adjective) : 1. very good, excellent, the best; COOL, AWESOME.
Also bomb; bomby.
as in "That new CD is the bomb!" or "That movie is bomb!"

However if you are an old fogey like me, you might prefer the following :

"Make it the RULE to act calm and COOL"


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site author Pam Green copyright 2003
created 4/24/08/td> revised 4/24/08
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