When deciding to adopt a rescue animal, we took our kids into consideration first. Was this something they were ready for? Would we have to time available to teach them how to practice safe pet behaviors? This contribution from Jenny Holt touches on every aspect of teaching kids how to practice safe guidelines when in the presence of animals, especially when they aren’t your own.
Children can learn many wonderful life lessons from caring for animals. When they help to look after, and play with their pets, it teaches them about responsibility and empathy. It can also lead to a strong and powerful bond between child and pet.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 50% of children under 12 have been bitten by a dog and most dog attacks happen at home. As a parent, it is your responsibility to teach your children the right way to behave around animals. And not just your own pets. Children need to grow up understanding how to behave around all animals.
Children should never
- Stare at an animal in the eye
- Grab an animal’s feet, ears, or tail
- Try to stop animals fighting
- Jump around or shout near sleeping animals
- Tease or chase an animal who wants to get away
- Play games that encourage aggression
- Disturb animals that are sleeping, eating, guarding something or caring for their young
Always Supervise Children and Animals
One of the most important rules for parents with dogs and children is never leave them alone together. There should always be an adult there to supervise. Your child has no boundaries, and neither does the dog. Parents should give constant feedback and encouragement. Children may know the rules, but it’s hard for them to be consistent and empathetic at their age.
Teach Children the Importance of a Gentle Touch
From a very young age, children should understand that animals can feel pain, fear, joy, and sadness. Teach your children to be gentle when touching animals. They can practice by gently petting a toy animal or a friend’s dog that you know is gentle. Make sure they understand that poking or squeezing can hurt animals.
Understanding Body Language
Animals may not be able to speak, but they do show what they like and don’t like. Teach children how to understand an animal’s body language. Do some research and show your child pictures of animals, in particular dogs, displaying different types of aggressive body language.
How to Cope with Unfamiliar Dogs
Teach children that if a dog approaches them they should stand ‘statue still’. They should also never approach an unfamiliar animal or touch any pet without asking the owner’s permission first.
When animals feel threatened, it’s their natural instinct to protect themselves. But this could result in displays of very sudden, aggressive behavior. It is parents’ responsibility to make sure all contact between small children and animals is supervised at all times. Much of the time nothing will happen. But is it ever worth taking that risk?
A little over a month ago I had the pleasure of visiting New Orleans, Louisiana for the very first time. I was attending the ShiftCon conference, and needed a place to lay my head for a few nights. I’d recently experienced great success with AirBnB over the summer, but I was traveling alone and I didn’t feel confident enough with the service to try alone.
Whenever I visit a new city, I like to really get a feel for it. Attend local rugby games in the Bahamas, rent a car and explore Maui, or sun at the locals’ beach in Puerto Rico. There isn’t a dive bar I don’t like, or a hole in the wall I won’t give a shot. When you think of New Orleans, you think of jazz and jambalaya. However I knew there had to be more. I wasn’t interested in Mardi Gras-like festivals, or staying on Bourbon Street. I’ve learned enough over the years to know that the good stuff is usually just beyond the chaos.
The good folks at the Visitor’s Bureau were kind enough to point me in the right direction. I ended up scoring a room at The Ace Hotel, a boutique hotel that is located throughout the United States. Famed for their vinyl record players (hello, do they know me?) and instruments located in the room.
As soon as I arrived, I was in love. This was a hipster’s dream! The way that old meets new, and the decor had just the right amount of “lived in” feeling. The lobby was dim and inviting, good thing they have free wi-fi because my room wasn’t ready and I had work to do. I stopped for some coffee at the adjoining cafe, Stumptown Coffee. A quaint little shop with excellent croissants and a killer chai latte. The manager was equally as cool and really lent to the atmosphere.
The lobby was so intriguing I had to walk and check out the rest of the hotel. I wandered through hallways, and stairwells, admiring the beauty in a hotel that didn’t feel the need to be overly bright and cheery. There’s a warmth and comfort to the dark hues and laid back vibes. Every detail, from the furniture to the paint, signs, and even chair stools were all timeless.
Am I the only person who admires good bathroom tile?
It’s reminiscent of a different time, all while holding true to a classic modern feel. The staff was incredible, everyone friendly and very helpful. They pointed me in the right direction quite a few times, and I have them to thank for some great dining and fun times at The Frenchmen’s.
The architecture stood out on so many levels. The detail, the lighting, all provided an experience.
I hadn’t even visited my room yet and I was drawn in to the culture of this hipster fantasy.
I was lucky enough to score a room with a view or two! I had my own private exit to a courtyard, a mid-century style SMEG fridge, and my very own vinyl record player in my room.
Sidenote: There are some really awesome radio stations in NOLA that you must listen to, like WWOZ!
Fully equipped with a full bar and even some goodies. Not to mention the complimentary condom that is placed in the room with a stamped envelope saying “Have a Good Time”.
The bathroom had some of the best lighting I have ever encountered in a hotel. We’re talking three straight perfect make-up days here, I may have participated in a selfie or two.
The old-fashioned photo booth in the lobby was a ton of fun (sort of, I never have been able to figure out the timing on those things), and there was entertainment almost nightly. I heard rumors of a wonderful rooftop atmosphere, but unfortunately missed it due to some rain.
Along with the free wi-fi (awesome), the Ace Hotel is also pet-friendly!
Umbrella’s are available at the front desk at your request. This came in handy on my final day as I was sightseeing in the rain.
I thoroughly enjoyed my experience at the Ace Hotel. It introduced me to a different view of New Orleans; a low-key, laid back sultry city with it’s hand on the pulse of a generation who knows where its going, and can appreciate where it all started.
I am so glad I had the opportunity to find this boutique hotel chain, and I’ll always look to them as my ace in the hole.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. I was compensated in order to facilitate my honest review. As always, all opinions expressed here are my own.