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Parents, Teach Your Kids About Safety Around Dogs

While out on a walk, a small child ran full-speed towards my dogs.

I complained to my friend, “Some parents are just hopeless.”

My friend replied, “But isn’t it a good thing that the child wants to run towards the dogs?”

I said, “You're seriously asking if it's a good thing for parents to allow a kid to barrel towards unknown dogs? Of course it’s not! In this case, my dogs are okay with children, but the parents don't know that.”

A Child-Friendly Dog...Or Not?

Dogs aren’t inherently dangerous to anyone, children included.

But some dogs aren't used to small children, and others have had terrible experiences at the hands of children and are frightened of them. Either way, a dog can growl, snap, or bite to protect themselves against the perceived danger of the approaching child.

Explain The Dog-Approaching Procedure To Your Child

It's vital to teach your child not to approach unknown dogs without you.

Drill it into your child (without scaring them to death) that they must come to you first if they want to pat a dog. Explain (again, without scaring them to death) that not all dogs like children, so it's important to first ask permission from the person with the dog before patting. You'll find a simple step-by-step regarding this here: Attention Parents: Teach Your Child How To Interact Safely With Dogs.

Remember, dogs aren't dangerous, but not all dogs are comfortable around children, and the responsibility of your child's safety lies one hundred percent with you.

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Adopt a homeless animal instead - they all deserve a second chance

It's estimated that 130,000 dogs and 60,000 cats are killed every year in Australia because there are not enough homes for them all. And the global numbers amount to millions upon millions every single year.

Puppy mills are a major contributor to the terrible problem of overpopulation. Puppy mills are essentially 'dog factories' where dogs are forced to churn out litter after litter, with no thought for the welfare of the dogs and all thought for profit. The dogs live in appallingly dirty, cramped conditions all their lives, and when they no longer serve their purpose they're killed, dumped or sold to vivisection laboratories.

Petshops fit into the picture because puppy mills are generally where petshops get their animals from. Furthermore, having animals in shop windows encourages impulse purchases, and adding an animal to your family should be a conscious, careful decision - NOT one to be made while shoe shopping.

Breeders contribute enormously to the tragic statistics above too. And it doesn't matter whether they're professional breeders or backyard breeders, and whether they breed for profit or not, because while there are homeless animals sitting on death row in shelters, any and all animal breeding is utterly irresponsible.

Now, here's where you come in. You can either be part of the problem or part of the solution. You can either buy animals from puppy mills, petshops or breeders and be part of the problem. Or you can adopt from a shelter or rescue organisation and be part of the solution.

If I haven't convinced you, visit your local shelter to see the homeless animals. Let their innocent faces convince you that adopting is the only responsible choice to make.

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