Getting a new puppy can be an exciting time for any family, but for those who already have young kids or another dog, it can suddenly be a challenge. As cute as they are, puppies are sensitive and reactive, and how you introduce them to your home can set the tone for how they’ll act in the future. If you have a new puppy in your life that you’re anxious about introducing to your family, we have some tips to ensure they become a welcome addition to your home.
How to Introduce Your Puppy to Young Kids
If there’s one thing most kids love, it’s a new puppy. As exciting as it can be for your young child to have their own furry friend, it’s critical that you properly introduce your child to your puppy to prevent any unfavorable interactions. Both young kids and puppies are vulnerable and impressionable, and taking the proper precautions will prevent hostility and help them become a team.
Find an Open Space
One of the most essential things you can do when introducing your puppy to your kid is do it in an open space. This is most beneficial to the puppy, as an open space will prevent them from feeling trapped at any point. If they get anxious, they can move around without feeling like they have to defend themselves.
Show Your Child How to Approach the Puppy
Once you have your puppy and child in the same space, show your child how to approach the puppy calmly. Let them slowly walk up to the puppy from the side, stopping a few feet away. Then let the puppy approach the rest of the way, so they don’t feel forced into the interaction.
Although your child may be excited, tell them to remain as still and quiet as possible. Any sudden noises or movements may startle the puppy and make them feel uncomfortable with your kid.