Health in a Minute: Kids and Dogs

5 Safety Tips

Even good-natured dogs can be provoked by certain actions. Here are some behaviors to teach your kids to practice around pups—particularly ones they don’t know.

  • Be calm. Never jump or scream around dogs, and never yank tails, pull fur, or poke eyes. Provide a calm environment so the dog will feel at ease.
  • No hugs. Dogs love having their bellies rubbed or their backs stroked. They don’t love being grabbed. Also, avoid patting the top of a dog’s head – they can see this as a threatening gesture.
  • Never sneak up. This can scare dogs and provoke a snarl, so always approach them from the side.
  • Let sleeping (or eating) dogs lie. Many dogs will snap if bothered while eating or sleeping. Let them have their space during their “personal” time.
  • Always ask before petting. Dogs have different temperaments, so you should always ask an owner before petting a dog. If the owner gives permission, make a fist (palm down in case the dog nips) and let the dog come to you.


Little girl playing with dog

Get access to the next issue before it hits the stands!