Common sense can go a long way when keeping kids safe from dogs, but do you know how to keep your puppy safe around your kids? Immaturity and excitement on both ends of the relationship can spell disaster when puppies and kids merge lives without these puppy safety tips.
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From creating safety zones to knowing when to take a break, learn how to ensure your furry family member is safe when living with little kids with these tips from veterinarians and professional dog trainers.

Create a kid-free zone

One of the most important steps you can take to keep your puppy safe around your kids is to give Fido his own little sanctuary that's off limits to your kiddos. "Create a puppy safe zone — set up a crate or a sectioned off area just for the puppy," advises Colleen Demling, dog trainer at Pawtopia.com. Be sure to let kids know that this is the doggie's personal space and to steer clear, especially when your four-legged friend heads in there for a little R&R.

Set a good example

It's no secret that kids are infamous for tuning parents out, so while telling kids how to treat your pup is important, leading by example goes a lot further, explains Dr. Jeff Werber. "The best way to keep your new puppy safe from your kids is to teach your child, as age appropriate, to be gentle and kind, to 'make nice' to the puppy, and never to pull ears, tails, pinch, grab at their face or be rough with him or her. This lesson should start before the dog is even brought into the home. And the lesson should be frequently repeated, and reinforced by demonstration by you."

Socialize your pup

Adopting a puppy is a long commitment, so getting your doggie and kids used to each other from the get-go will ensure happy times ahead. "Socialize puppies as early as possible so that they are used to being around children," Dr. Jules Benson at Petplan suggests. But, this doesn't mean you dump kids and puppies into a room by themselves.

Supervise your children

Regardless of how mature you think your children are, never leave your puppy and your kids alone — it's a recipe for disaster. "Parents have to be responsible for supervising children around puppies," says veterinarian Dr. Gretchen Norton. "There should be a house rule about not touching the puppy unless Mom or Dad is present." However, that puppy-safe zone should be employed during unsupervised playtime. "When absolute supervision cannot take place," explains Humane Society of Boulder Valley Training and Behavior Supervisor, Shelly Brouwer, "management in the form of a crate and baby gates can play an important role in safety."

Treat everyone to a break

Everyone says that adding a puppy to the family is like having another baby, and the sentiment rings true, especially when it comes to downtime. Jennifer Mauger of L'Chaim Canine reminds pup parents that, "puppies need naps! When the kids are overtired chances are your puppy is, too. Avoid conflict by giving everyone something quiet to do or giving everyone a nap."

Having a dog teaches responsibility, compassion, respect for others and gives a kid a best friend they will cherish their whole life through.

Adding dogs to a family with kids can be a lot of work, but these tips on how to keep your puppy safe around kids can keep Fido out of harm's way. "There is nothing better for a kid than a pet. Having a dog teaches responsibility, compassion, respect for others and gives a kid a best friend they will cherish their whole life through," advises Dr. Werber. "So, don't hesitate to bring a four-legged kid into your mix. Just do your homework, get advice when needed, and use your common sense."

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