Please Teach Your Children To Respect Me.  Love, Your Dog | PetFirst
Please Teach Your Children To Respect Me.  Love, Your Dog
Pet Care & Health

Please Teach Your Children To Respect Me.  Love, Your Dog

by PetFirst Pet Insurance
2 years ago

Every relationship has spoken or unspoken rules that define socially acceptable behavior within the relationship.  The relationship with the family dog is no different.  There must be boundaries for both the dog and for his pet parents and all other family members.

However, when it comes to children, these rules and boundaries need to be taught.  To keep both the child and the dog safe, it is critical that children are taught to treat the family dog with consideration and respect.  

So what would your family dog want you to teach your children? 

Teach kindness, respect, and responsibility 

Explain to children that all living beings need to be treated with respect and kindness.   

If you see a child being unkind to me, remind him or her that I am a living creature and I can feel pain, sadness, and joy just like humans. 

Remind children: 

  • They would not want someone sitting or stepping on them. 
  • They would not want to be poked, yanked, or pulled. 
  • They would not want someone to take their toys or food from them. 

Children need to be reminded of these things often.  Just like I learn commands through practice and repetition, so do children. 


If you notice that my water bowl is empty, this is an excellent opportunity to explain to your child the importance of proper pet care. 

Tell him how much I would appreciate having fresh water in my bowl.  Explain that there are certain things I depend on my pet parents and family for.

Tell your children that animals don’t belong outside in the cold or the heat.  I depend on you to take me inside with you and protect me from harsh outdoor elements.

If you think someone is abusing an animal, the best thing you can do is report your suspicions, according to the ASPCA. 

Respect my body 

As much as I like having you around me, I am not a piece of furniture, a throw pillow, a jungle gym, or a toy.  I am a living being, and like you, I feel pain, and I get irritated. 

Please do not: 

  • Sit on me 
  • Lie on me 
  • Climb on me 
  • Ride me like a pony 
  • Pull my tail 
  • Pull my ears 
  • Bounce on me 
  • Step on me 
  • Yank my ears 
  • Poke me 

Don’t allow children to do anything to me that you would not let them do to another child.

I would like it if you would:

  • Sit next to me when I come over to you. 
  • Gently pet my head and back. 
  • Rub my tummy if I happen to roll over. 
  • Gently scratch behind my ears. 
  • Talk to me in a calm tone. 

Respect my “safe place” 

I feel comfortable if I have a safe place of my own, such as a crate or my bed.   Please don’t disturb me if I get up and go to my safe place.   

I might go to my safe place if:

  • I am tired. 
  • I have been given a special treat to chew on. 
  • I just want to be alone. 
  • A lot is going on, and I need to take a time-out. 
  • There are lots of visitors over to the house.
  • I don’t want to continue playing right now. 

It’s not that I don’t love you.  Like humans, I sometimes need a break.   

Please don’t follow me to my safe place.  Rest assured, I will come back and let you know when I want to play. 

Leave me alone when I’m eating 

You wouldn’t let your children stick their hands in your food while you are eating.  I just want to eat in peace. 

Teach your child:

  • Not to put his hands near my food or in my food dish while I’m eating. 
  • Not to touch me or disturb me while I’m eating. 
  • Not to put his face near my face while I am eating. 
  • That he or she can give me treats when it is not mealtime. 
  • Treats should be given away from my food bowl. 

The takeaway 

Parents need to be honest and clear with their children.  Always supervise young children around family pets and do not tolerate any mistreatment of animals. 

It is equally important that parents lead by example.  Parents who treat the family dog with respect are more likely to have children who follow that lead. 

Children who grow up with a family pet have an incredible opportunity to learn about empathy, love, responsibility, respect, and compassion.  As long as acceptable behavior is defined and reinforced, then children and dogs growing up together can make the very best of friends.

Do you have a new dog in the family?  You can make sure that he or she is covered with PetFirst Pet Insurance.  

We have Dog Insurance Policies and Routine Care Coverage to fit every budget and every family. 

Get a quote today!  


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