Kids and pets have different ideas of fun

Posted on October 8, 2009 under Pet Health & Safety, Pet News (General)

Most cats don't enjoy the entertaiment that small children doFamilies may frequently have trouble getting their young children and their pets to coexist and share an enjoyable relationship. One animal behavior expert advises the kids may need to be taught to change their behavior to keep dogs and cats happy.

Mary Burch, director of the American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizen program and certified animal behavior analyst, counsels that pet owners wishing to promote a positive relationship with their dogs or cats must fulfill two pet needs, the News Tribune reports.

"First, the owner would need to meet basic needs – food, water, exercise," says Burch. "The second thing is positive experiences – playtime, brushing, training."

The expert believes that problems commonly arise in pet care when small children play with animals in ways that are distressing to the pets. While kids may have fun poking a sleeping cat or pulling the tail of an eating dog, these actions can irritate animals, leading to poor relationships.

According to Burch, most animals are also upset by shrill voices, quick motions and loud sounds. Namely, "Animals want to feel safe and loved, they don’t like being teased."

The Best Friends Animal Society recommends that no child under one-year old should be left unsupervised with a pet.