Tips provided by Camp Bow Wow.
Your child may want a family pet, but that doesn't mean that they're not afraid of the scary dog across the street or Grandma's mean cat. Check out these tips for easing your child into getting a pet. Who knows, you might turn them into an animal lover for life!
Pet Practice: Try showing your child how to interact with pets by using a stuffed animal. Show him or her how to safely play with their furry friend. A stuffed animal can make for a lovable practice buddy that your child will feel more comfortable around.
Story Time: Read your child stories about happy pets and their owners. Depending on your child’s age, this can greatly impact how they feel about dogs and cats.
Don’t Force Contact: Forcing your child to pet an animal or insisting that a pet is harmless may only increase their fears. It’s important to keep your child calm around the dog or cat. If they are forced to make contact, it may only frighten them (or the animal) even more.
Play Date: Once your child stops fearing pets at a distance, it may be time to gradually introduce him or her to a friend or relative’s dog or cat. At first, make introductions brief if your child seems hesitant. Over time, lengthen the amount of time spent.
Adopt: Finally, take your child to a pet adoption site, and allow them to pick out their new pet! The excitement of having the pet of their choice, may be the incentive they need to let go of their fears. Camp Bow Wow franchises across the country offer adoption services, so be sure to visit your local branch.