Even before you bring your puppy home, you will want to make sure your house and yard are safe. Puppies are a lot like children in that they can get into anything and everything. Care should be taken to put unsafe objects away, like electric cords or poisons that puppy could eat or drink. Things like floor plants, decorations, shoes, clothing can all lead to trouble for puppy. New shoes look like old shoes to him and could be the start of bad habits.
Always make sure that puppy can not knock over objects on coffee tables, end tables, and other low furniture. Anything breakable and within reach is fair game for the puppy and should be placed out of reach until he is grown. Wood items like chair legs and table legs can often be thought of as chew toys for puppy and he will instinctively think that that wood is good for chewing. Also, small toys of children should be picked up as they can be swallowed and cause choking and death.
Your yard should also be puppy-proofed and objects deemed unsafe should be put away. Not all dogs can swim, especially short-nosed varieties, and pools should be safe guarded against his entry. Fertilizers, paint, insecticides, etc. can all pose a hazard. Check fencing to make sure puppy cannot get his head stuck in it trying to get out of the yard. Taking the time to puppy proof your house will make your life and your puppies a lot safer and easier too.
Setting a few rules for dogs and kids before bringing home a puppy will make it easier if you. You may be able to have children do a little of the work for you while at the same time keeping your puppy safe. Puppies and children all can do better if there's a little routine in their life. Generally, puppies less than six months should be fed three or more times a day. Dogs between six and twelve months of age should be fed twice a day. Dogs over a year can be fed once or twice daily. Scheduled feedings are good responsibility for children and also is a good aid in the housebreaking process.
Getting your children to take your new puppy outside at regular intervals is a great habit for both dog and child as well. Scheduled play times can also help in the training of your new puppy and will keep him mentally alert. Care should be given that puppy learns which rooms he is allowed in and everyone in the house should teach him the same rules.
Finally, kids should learn a few rules of respect for your pet. Rough play, ear pulling, poking, kicking, choking, smothering, yelling at, scaring, etc. should never be allowed to go on. These things almost always lead to biting and antisocial behavior. Children should learn that a puppy has a right to defend itself, and they should learn to relate to your new pet in a kind manner. In a short time, your new puppy will become comfortable and safe in his new environment.
Dog bites are the second leading cause of injuries in children and over 75% of bite cases involve dogs that belong to the person's family. If you bring home a puppy or dog, take the necessary steps to protect your kids with dog bite prevention: supervise them when they play with the dog. Teach them dog etiquette to keep the family pet from biting unexpectedly, and show them what to do if they come across a stray dog.
You should never leave your child unsupervised with a puppy or dog. Kids may be curious and pull the dog's ears or poke at them if you're not around. Having your children and the dog in sight is not enough. Always be in a position to intervene immediately if anything happens, for the safety of your children and the dog. Children should learn a few basic rules of behavior.
1) Never grab an object away from a dog. Dogs are usually protective of their toys and want to keep them. Try to distract them rather than confronting them head-on. It is far better to outsmart them rather than provoke an unnecessary dog bite.
2) Never bother your dog when he's sleeping or eating. Give your puppy plenty of room when he's napping, and leave his food dish alone when he's eating.
3) Never sneak up on a dog. Always let your puppy know that you are nearby before you pet him. Let the dog smell your open hand and then slowly reach out to him.
4) Never bark or growl at your dog. Aggressive behavior could cause your dog to bite.
5) If your dog shows aggression, tell his owner so that he can intervene.
6) Tell your children to stay away from stray dogs. If approached by a stray dog you should never make sudden moves or try to run away. Keep your hands at your sides and avoid eye contact. Slowly back away until you are at a safe distance between you and the stray dog. Try to be as noncombative looking as possible.