Steph recently visited with local Vet Tech Katie Pengra to learn about integrating your pets with children. Here’s what they covered:
What are the most important things to consider to create a safe environment for your kids and pets?
Every household, animal, and child are different, but following a few simple rules can help to create a safe environment for your kids and pets.
1) Creating Boundaries. This includes both physical boundaries and conceptual boundaries
2) Positive Reinforcement for both your pet and you child so they can associate good things with each other.
3) Personal Responsibility. A parent or guardian must set up their pets and kids to be successful. Kids are scary! Dogs can be scary! You can’t expect for them to just get along without your help.
How do you implement the first two rules?
1) For boundaries, every animals has their trigger, just like people. They can be protective of their food, their toys, or even spaces. You should never allow a child to go near dogs when they’re eating. Keep your child’s toys in a bin on the opposite side of the room from a dogs most common spaces or feeding areas. It’s equally important to create a safe space for your pet that your kid can’t go. And if there’s anything that really makes your dog on guard, maybe they don’t get that item anymore. It’s also very important that your kid learns they can’t climb on, tug on, or bother your dog when they’re asleep. The child could end up inadvertently injuring the dog, and they may react with aggression. Dogs can’t help that response because boundaries are important!
2) Positive reinforcement is just as important. You don’t want your kid or dog to think they’re always on edge around each other. Have your child give the dogs treats or help you feed them while also giving them space to eat. Never yell or get angry if your child gets in their space, just redirect and make it clear that this is the dog’s space, or toy.
What does personal responsibly mean on this context?
Keeping dogs physically and mentally stimulated is so important. If you were trapped in a house 24/7, you’d probably be grumpy too! Try to walk your dogs for 30-60 minutes a day. Keep lots of toys available or consider a puzzle food bowl to make them work for their food especially if they tend to scarf it all down. Keeping them flea, tick, and heart worm free, up to date on shots, and regularly vetted is very important. A healthy pet is a great base for creating a healthy and balanced home.
A healthy, happy balanced pup starts with a great diet. Dogs need the proper amount of nutrition to keep them energized and feeling good. Nulo Pet Foods can help provide that with their high-meat kibble or freeze dried raw foods. Steph feeds Jack and Millie both but Nulo’s kibble is a daily staple for her dogs and includes a protein-rich diet with the first 3-4 ingredients being proteins from animal sources. It also offers Low carb and low-glycemic ingredients to provide stable energy levels and a patented probiotic for digestive and immune health. Steph’s pups, Jack and Millie, obviously have high levels of energy but feeding them the right diet has made a world of difference in their day to day behavior.
When it comes to “treating” pets you want to look for something that’s High-protein and not artificially flavored or highly processed. Dogs will have more happy days when you consider their digestive & immune health. Steph uses Nulo’s training treats to teach new tricks or reward Jack and Millie and they also keep Nulo’s Jerky and Protein Sticks on hand for days when they want to give them something extra special that will still leave them feeling good.
To order Nulo’s new Hydrate product go to nulo.com/h2o
Sponsored by Nulo. Opinions expressed by the guest(s) on this program are solely those of the guest(s) and are not endorsed by this television station.