Tuesday, August 22, 2017
One topic that tends to garner a lot of discussion and debate is children around pets. By the time a concerned parent comes to an animal communicator, some damage has already been done with a child being bitten or scratched due to a lack of supervision of some kind. Ultimately, it is the pet who will pay the price and wind up being re-homed or in a shelter.
It doesn’t have to be like that. Kids do not need to wind up with bite marks and the pets do not have to be re-homed or surrendered. For this weeks blog, I’d like to share information from my experiences as an Animal Communication Counselor to help you have a better sense of understanding and help your pets have a great relationship with your (or anyone’s) kids. Since the topic of pets and kids is a large one, this blog will be broken down into a series of posts touching on the important elements of not only building a good relationship between kids and pets, but giving a clear picture of what responsible supervision looks like.
The pets relationship with the child begins in utero. A lot of new parents will be concerned about how the pup will react to having a new baby. As long as the new parents can include the pet (this includes cats) in the activities of getting the nursery ready and even telling them about a new being being added to the pack/family unit, that will go a long way to avoiding jealousy or destructive behaviors.
Once the baby is born, again..let your pet be involved with taking care of the baby! If you constantly push the pet away anytime you are doing an activity with your newborn, you are inviting destructive behaviors to happen (chewing on the furniture, peeing/pooping on the carpet, chewing things that belong to the baby..etc). Of course you want to make sure that your pup isn’t getting into the diaper genie or trash can to shred used baby wipes!
As the kids begin to get older, some may feel that chasing the dog (or cat) is a fun activity. For most pets, this isn’t fun at all. Make sure that your pet has their own “Safe Space” that is off limits to people. This is usually a crate or some form of secluded area. As the parent - make sure the kids know and understand that when your pet retreats to their safe space, they need to be left alone.
Remember, our pets understand things on a much deeper level than what we once thought. Talk to them like the intelligent beings that they are to let them know a change is coming (if you are expecting a baby). Really let them be part of the family and part of the process. Pets have been known to be closer and more “clingy” to the mothers when they are pregnant. They get it.
Compassion and Understanding is for all beings.
Family Paws is an excellent resource for families with pets and children of all ages!
Tuesday, August 8, 2017
When people have an animal in their life, they usually set boundaries, encourage training and have playtime with their pets. Every now and again, someone will say “I feel like they don’t respect my leadership/authority”. So they try a harsh training method, or begin to yell a command or anything of the kind with still no desired result in terms of the animal companion listening to their person’s command.
I’ve got news for you folks - respect goes both ways. The critical thing to understand is that animals are thinking, feeling, sentient beings who have their own feelings and thoughts about the world around them. If you as the caretaker, can understand where your pet is coming from and not place them in a “one size fits all” model - then they will begin to respect and honor your direction and leadership.
Here are a few tips to help facilitate a mutual respect with your pet:
-Recognize that your pet has their own set of thoughts and feelings about the world around them.
-Keep your boundaries clear and keep them consistent. In the absence of a clearly defined and enforced boundary, your animal companion will have no reason to genuinely listen to you and they will make up their own rules.
-KEEP CALM! I cannot stress this one enough! When you are in a “freak out” mode and you are incredibly upset/irritated, your pet won’t want to listen to you. Leadership is acknowledged and respected when the leader can remain calm and focused in any given situation.
-Have plenty of one on one playtime. Having a playtime is just as important as training. Our pets want us to have fun and have fun with them. This can be playing fetch, tug, hide and seek or even going on a long walk to help strengthen the bond with your pets.
If you need help or some feedback on what is going on with your pet, I’d love to hear from you!