There are few things better than seeing your child and your pet dog playing together. If your dog has been with you since your child was born, they’ll be inseparable, and your dog will surely be your son or daughter’s best friend as they grow up! However, while there are plenty of demonstrable social and development benefits to having a dog around small children, it’s important that you’re aware of some of the potential dangers that having a pet in the home can bring. None are severe enough to merit keeping the best buds separate, but it’s important that you take care of them.
When your child looks at your dog, he doesn’t see a dog; he sees a friend. And vice versa. However, while it’s highly unlikely that a well-trained dog will be aggressive with a child (especially one they know), it’s still subject to animal instincts, and these might kick in should your child do something that’s harmful to your pet. Make sure that your child knows not to prod, provoke, or punch your dog. Teaching your child how to treat other creatures with respect is the best preventative measure you can take. You can also teach your dog how to behave around children by using the tips found at http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/pets/dog-behavior/how-to-teach-dogs-to-like-kids. Also, as fun as it might be to watch, you should not let your dog lick your child’s face: there are more germs than you’d care to know in there.
In the Yard
Your child will love playing in the yard with your dog, but it’s important that they do so safely. Dogs can sometimes play too rough (not maliciously), and this can happen in particular when they’re outdoors. If they’re going to play among the trees and bushes of the garden, make sure your child knows not to get the dog too excited. Also, always ensure that you clear your garden of any dog muck: they can carry bacteria and other viruses that can make your child unwell.
Dogs can get themselves into some pretty dirty situations (it’s what they like to do), and as such, they can often bring in more germs than you’d like into the home. If you don't remove them, then you might be making your furniture, carpet, and beds a haven for germs, which won’t be healthy for you or your children. Make sure your home is clean throughout by regularly having a company like http://www.getcarpetcleaningorlando.com/orlando-carpet-cleaner/ remove the buildup of germs and grime from your carpet. You should also sanitize your furniture, and replace your dog’s bed every six months or so. Finally, don’t forget to give your doggy a bath when they’re looking dirty!
On the Plus Side
With all this being said, it’s important to note that overall, dogs are beneficial to a child’s health, especially if they spend time together from a young age. Check out http://healthland.time.com/2012/07/09/study-why-dogs-and-cats-make-babies-healthier/ to see all the ways dogs boost a child’s immune system!