Introducing Your Child to a New Dog - Care-A-Lot Pet Supply
Care-A-Lot Pet Supply

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Local Delivery is available to select locations in the Hampton Roads, Virginia area. The cost for Local Delivery is FREE if your order total is $49.00 or more. If your order total is less than $49.00 there will be a $5.00 delivery fee for using our Local Delivery service. Local Delivery is only available Monday-Friday, it is not available on Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays. Orders will typically be delivered in 1-3 days. If you need your order sooner, please try our free Curbside Pick-Up option.

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ATTENTION: Orders placed before 2 PM will typically be ready for pick-up the same day. A picture I.D. matching the name(s) on your order must be shown.

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Introducing Your Child to a New Dog

Introducing Your Child to a New Dog
Introducing Your Child to a New Dog

“Mom, Dad, can we get a dog?”

How many of us have heard that question from our kids? If you’ve been asked recently, and you’ve considered adding a four-legged friend to the family, hopefully you have weighed all the factors involved in bringing a pet into a home with children. When the fit is right, a dog makes a wonderful companion for everybody in the family, but it’s important that the transition happens in a way that creates a comfortable environment for your new pet and your kids.

We imagine any child would be excited at the prospect of getting a new dog, be it adopting a rescue or getting a new puppy. The last thing you want, however, is to spook a dog in an unknown environment and risk heightened anxiety and other problems that could disrupt family life. You want a new dog to feel welcome in his new home and safe with his new companions, which is why we recommend you speak with your children about the proper way to behave during the first meeting.

When introduced to a dog that may come to live with you, here are a few things to remember before your child greets him:

Move Slowly. Dogs are cute and puppies are adorable, and a child’s first instinct may be to run up for a closer look. Sudden, loud movements may scare the dog, however, and cause him to bark, bare his teeth, or lash out in defense. Remember, the dog doesn’t know you at this point, so you don’t want to start off on the wrong foot and create a negative impression. Have your child move slowly around the dog, without making eye contact.

Wait For the Dog. On the same note, the dog should make the first move. If you have an older or tall child, have them crouch to the dog’s level and wait for the dog to approach. The dog is ascertaining your friendliness at this point, so don’t feel disappointed if he doesn’t want to come close immediately. He may be nervous or scared and needs reassurance.

Be Gentle. When the dog comes forward to meet you, have your child hold out a hand - palm up - so the dog can sniff. This is the dog’s way of getting to know new friends, and this gesture helps show your child means no harm. If the dog permits your child to pet him, make sure it’s gentle. Watch for the dog’s body language, too. A dog holding his head high, ears up and tail relaxed, may feel happy to be there. If his ears pull back and his body lowers, however, he may be showing signs of distress. If so, it’s best to step away and give him time to adjust.

As you search for a dog to bring into the family, talk to the people most familiar with the pet you have in mind - the current owner or the people at the rescue shelter. The more you know about the dog, the better you can prepare your children to welcome him home. Once you’ve adopted the newest member of your family, be sure to ready your house with pet clean-up supplies, food, and other accessories from our online store.

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