Happy Dogs and Safe Children

Melanie is a qualified Dog Behaviour Consultant and an expert on getting to the cause of behaviour problems in dogs. You can visit her website for more helpful information and contact details here.

Why parents must be involved

Pets make wonderful companions for children and can reduce asthma rates, help children recover from illness and encourage exercise. Although most pets will tolerate a lot from the children they love, they often feel more stress than we realise. It is important to understand how to help your dogs stay calm around children not only for the dog's sake, but for child safety.

About 70% of dog bites in Victoria occur in the home and involve a dog the child knows. Children under five years are at most risk, particularly two year olds. Most of these bites occur when dogs feel anxious or overexcited in relation to the way the child interacts with the dog.

The good news is that this means bites can be prevented with proper supervision. There are four simple ways you can keep children safe around your dog - and you can try them on your cat and rabbits too. <