Dog Safety Advice for Parents of Toddlers

Whether you have a dog in your house or you have friends and whānau with a pup, it’s important to have a good understanding of rules and boundaries with dogs and young children to keep everyone safe.

  • Never leave your baby or child alone with your dog. If you need to leave the room, take your child or dog with you.
  • Your child must be actively supervised at all times when interacting with a dog.
  • Teach children to stay out of the dog’s bed – that is your pet’s safe space.
  • Teach children not to disturb the dog while they are sleeping or eating.
  • Your child should not be allowed to ever tease or annoy the dog – they are not a toy. Educate yourself on your dog’s body language so you can recognise when your dog is uncomfortable or anxious.
  • Teach your dog not to lick faces and don’t let your child kiss or hug your dog’s face.
  • When going for a walk, hold your dog’s leash in your hand; don’t tie it to your child’s pram.
  • Always ask other owners if it is okay for your child to say hi to their dog. Teach your child to hold out their hand to let the dog sniff before giving the dog a pat.