Why Leaving Kids Alone with Dogs Is a No-No, According to a Vet

Written by Henrik Rothen

Apr.13 - 2024 10:49 AM CET

Photo: TikTok
Photo: TikTok
A seasoned veterinarian shares crucial tips for dog owners, revealing why even the gentlest dogs should not be left alone with children.

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In the world of pet care, common practices and safety precautions are constantly evolving. Whitney Terrell, a respected veterinarian and a prominent voice in animal welfare, has recently highlighted a crucial guideline for dog owners: never leave children alone with dogs, no matter how trustworthy the pet may seem.

On her popular TikTok channel, @dr.terrellpetvet, Terrell explains that even the most well-behaved dog might react unexpectedly to a child's actions.

"I would never leave my own children alone with my pet," she states firmly in one of her videos, underscoring the potential risks involved.

Unpredictable Reactions

"Dogs can stumble," Terrell warns, "and even the most disciplined canine might respond unpredictably to a child's unpredictable behaviors, whether intentional or accidental."

Her advice is backed by the principle that children might inadvertently pull a dog's tail or ears, or simply trip over them, which can lead to accidents.

This sentiment is echoed by Dogs Trust, an organization dedicated to enhancing the well-being of dogs and their owners. They strongly advocate for adult supervision during any interaction between dogs and young children, stressing that it's always safest to monitor their interactions closely.

Supervised Interactions Only

The Dogs Trust website advises, "Never leave a child and a dog together unsupervised. It's crucial that an adult is always actively present when they interact."

The organization also points out that it is vital for an adult to oversee, observe, listen, and, if necessary, intervene or separate them. This approach is especially important in homes where the likelihood of biting incidents could be higher.

In addition to her call for supervision, Terrell's top recommendations for dog owners include researching a dog's breed before acquiring one, never skipping routine medications like vaccinations, avoiding feeding dogs human food, and ensuring that your dog is insured.

These guidelines aim to create a safer environment for both children and pets, reducing the risk of accidents and ensuring that the joy of owning a dog comes with responsibility and awareness.

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