During this time of shelter-in-place, you’re spending a lot more time together as a family. Most of the extra time together is good, but there may be some negative consequences as new routines are being established. Recently I was informed of an incident involving a family dog biting a five year old child who crawled into the dog crate while the dog was sleeping. After hearing this, I thought it would be a good time to talk about how some of these new daily routines could impact your child and dog. Let’s help educate your child about making good decisions with the family dog, and avoid potentially bad incidents like a bite.
Children who are normally gone for many hours of the day, expending energy at school, are now spending their days at home. The routine for the dog is probably different too. They may not have as much time to rest as usual, and there is constant sound and movement in the house from family members. Some dogs may love the extra family around, but others may not.
All this extra togetherness just increases the likelihood of a potential incident happening. Supervision is always important when it comes to dogs and kids, but realistically you just can’t watch everything all the time. So what else can you do? Try taking some time to establish clear boundaries and rules with your children regarding your dog(s). Looking back on the incident with the young child mentioned earlier, it’s likely that the dog was startled while asleep and reacted. It could also be that the dog was protecting its space. It’s difficult to prevent all bad things from happening, but this is a good time to be proactive with basic child/dog safety tips.