Bringing home a new pet can be an exciting affair for your family. Yet, before you embrace a new furry family member, it’s important to take measures in setting up your youngsters, your home and yourself for the presence of a new pet to help make forging this especially delicate relationship an awesome experience!Introduction
Toddlers can be easily enthusiastic over a new pet — so much so that they may chase, startle and scare the new family member. Control your youngster’s reaction by letting the pet approach them first, even holding them back initially if necessary.
When the new pet approaches your kids on its own terms, it is less likely to be frightened. Likewise, it also aids in decreasing aggressive behaviour and conflict. On the other hand, you could also get your kids involved in learning to use delicate voices and avoid using intimidating body language like staring or getting excessively close to the pet.Designated areas
Let your children learn and understand from the very beginning that your new pet has a number of spaces that are off-limits; for example, it could be a crate, a spot outside or a specific room. Once you’ve assigned your spaces, enforce this rule consistently, especially for younger kids who may require constant reminders.Practice, patience
The initial couple of weeks with a pet can often be the hardest, especially with regards to making life adjustments and forging a relationship between your kids and your pet. Do remember that it’s typical for a new pet to take as much as 8-10 weeks to truly feel comfortable in another home. Take additional care in this introductory period to enable your pet to get accustomed and set great behavioural examples in the family.
Indeed, even before bringing your new pet home, you should educate your kids on how to interact with the new furry family member: Let your children practice with a soft toy or something similar to show and teach gentle touch. Simply showing them an example of a gentle touch can help your kids understand and comprehend what’s to come and how to act appropriately.Warning signs
Consider the ways you know a pet is startled or on edge — a turned head, a cowering position, gritted teeth, sharp tail movements — and teach your children to understand these signs. Explain that when a pet starts showing these behaviours, it's better to back away and give it some space. These warning signs mean that it's not the best time for play.Teach responsibility
An advantage to having a family pet is the opportunity to teach your kids responsibility; as they figure out how to love and tend to their new furry member. Right from the beginning, teach your children how to feed it, walk it, groom it, tidy up after it and play safely. When they learn to remember their routine feedings and daily walks, they will come to realise the meaning of having to care for something or someone other than themselves.