Pets and Toddlers

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Meet our newest addition, Oscar. Oscar joined at us at just 17 days old after his mother was run over. He was just 5 oz and had to bottle fed and cleaned by us. He was a bit high maintenance, but he’s now 9 weeks old and so much fun! Buddy is very used to animals since we have 2 dogs and an adult cat, but we haven’t had anything so tiny in the home with him.

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I don’t have any expertise on kids and pets living together, but I think it’s something that can easily be done as long as you know your pet’s personality. I’ve always thought the bottom line of teaching kids how to interact with pets is respect.  Children need to understand that an animal deserves respect just as any person would. As Buddy gets older I plan on teaching him the body language of cats and dogs so he can recognize when an animal is unhappy and hopefully be safe around pets that are unfamiliar to him.  So far, we stress being gentle and petting softly. Of course he can get rough and he goes to time-out whenever he doesn’t pet gently. Our two dogs are pretty good at avoiding him when they really want to and tolerate him when he’s touching in a way they don’t like (before we can intervene). Separation is always a good option too if you can’t supervise your child around a pet. We also make sure Buddy doesn’t go near the dogs when they’re eating or sleeping.

Fortunately, Oscar is bigger now and can withstand Buddy playing with him. Up until a week or so ago we didn’t let Buddy touch him unless we were holding him, mostly for Oscar’s safety. I have shown him how to hold Oscar if he tries to pick him up, although he hasn’t tried very much. They have become fast friends now! Buddy wakes up and usually asks where Oscar is, and often says, “Oh Oscar! He’s so cute!”. He really loves his kitten.

Our pets are family to us and want our kids to grow up with animals in their life. They add so much to our family and we are so happy they have all gotten along!

oscar grooming