No matter how friendly or calm your Foster dog may seem it is vital that young children are not left unattended with the dog.
Toddlers have an uneven gait which can scare dogs who tend to prefer predictability and routine. Children usually do not know their own strength or weight and are prone to laying on top of, or pressing their faces into a dog which can result in injury to both parties. What may seem cute to parents is often very annoying to a dog who will, eventually, lose patience with it.
It’s important to teach your children respect for animals and that includes respect for the animals space. Do not allow your kids to pester or tease a dog while it’s in its crate, or it’s designated sleeping area. We also do not recommend engaging in tugging games which can lead to possessiveness, and please do not allow your kids to try and take away toys or treats from your Foster dog’s mouth.
To make sure that your kids feel included in the care for your Foster dog we do recommend that you include your children in daily tasks relating to the dog such as emptying, cleaning and refilling the water dish at mealtimes, putting toys away and accompanying you on walks. Please have a sit down talk as a family to go over appropriate ways to interact with the dog, as well as set some ground rules (no table scraps, no hugging the dog, etc.)
If your Foster dog is very energetic and playful, and you have a secure yard fetch and hide & seeks games can be a fun way to get everyone tired and happy.
We hope that the more you Foster the more your children we’ll learn why rescue and fostering is important and also learn to read your Foster dog’s body language. Until that time we want to make sure that everyone stays safe and that it is a positive experience for the whole family.