Two Can Learn Better than One!

Tags: pets

Family Friendly Dogs

Permalink by Tikal, Categories: Family , Tags: animals, dog breeds, dogs, hound, pets, retriever, spaniel

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Choosing a family dog is a tricky job, you need first to establish what kind of dog you want and whether you really do have the time, space, patience and ability to look after it.

Here are some of the breeds best associated with families and children.

Labrador Retriever

Renowned for their patience and good nature this is a breed that is rarely aggressive or too excitable.  Labradors tend to be easy-going and intelligent.  They love long walks and love being active but are also relatively calm and accommodating. They also live for around 12 years so a good long time.

Golden Retriever

These are similar to the Lab in their disposition.  Again, they are mild mannered, and gentle.  They also enjoy being near people and are easily trained. They love going out and running and fetching so are ideal for pr-school age children as they will never tire of a child chasing with them and running about. They do need care as they have long hair though.

Basset Hound

A docile, calm dog although often stubborn, they are gentle and good for children because of their kind nature and love any attention from children!


A very small breed of dog: excellent with children and good indoor dogs. They tend to be very loving.  They don't shed hair and are easy to take care of, even for kids.

Miniature Dachshund

A small dog who will play with anything and put up with lots of kiddie affection and cuddles.  They don't shed much hair and they are fairly easy-going.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

An excellent breed around kids. It is a well-mannered and usually gentle and patient. They are also quiet dogs and patient about being poked and prodded by toddlers.  They don't bite and like to play around children.

Good luck!

Small Children and Animals

Permalink by Tikal, Categories: Parenting, Health, Family , Tags: animals, confidence, health, hygeine, pets, respect

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You may not have your own pets, but at some point you and your children are likely to come into contact with other people's pets.  Even if you don't own a dog or cat, here are a few ground rules to set out for your children to ensure they are safe and calm around other people's animals.


  1. Don't encourage small children, not familiar with animals, to handle pets by themselves without supervision
  2. Don't allow them to hit or shout at an animal.  Teach them respect and show them how to speak to the animals in a calm and sensible voice.
  3. Don't allow children to disturb dogs or cats (or indeed any animals) when they are sleeping, feeding, or playing alone.  Animals need quiet time too, so they should be left alone sometimes.
  4. Don't let animals lick children's faces (or indeed let children lick or kiss animals' faces.)  Just think about what they lick to keep clean!
  5. Don't let children feed pets with their food ie. sweets, chocolate etc!


  1. Double check that the animals you visit have been wormed and checked over for fleas.  It may be embarrassing to ask, but it's worth it to know for sure!
  2. Insist on washing children's hands ofter playing with or handling animals, especially if cleaning out cages!
  3. Show your child how to approach, speak to and address with animals.  Don't just tell them... show them so they can see for themselves.
  4. Explain that animals may not want to do what the children want them to do and have an opinion of their own.

Keeping A Pet

Permalink by Tikal, Categories: Family , Tags: cats, dogs, fish, hamsters, pets, toddler

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Having pets in the home is a great way for children to learn about responsibility as well as helping them to develop a nurturing, kind nature towards animals, and indeed, people!  However, although it may seem nice to have a cat sniffing round your ankles or a dog wagging his tail at you, the reality of keeping a pet can be very different.

Not all animals are suitable for pets - unless you live in a rambling country house or a farm!  To start with, go for something easy to look after (as it may be you doing the messy work rather than your children!)  Choose something small, easy to keep, easy to exercise, cheap to maintain, and that fits your home and surroundings.

  • Hamsters, rabbits, mice, guinea pigs: These are all nice and small and provided they are fed, watered and cleaned they will pretty much look after themselves.  Vet bills are low as they need little with regards medical support unless there is an unexpected problem. Food is cheap and bedding is cheap.  Hamsters are good to keep but do lots of sleeping during the day as they are actually desert animals and tend to come out when its cooler.
  • Dogs: great for companionship, but they are expensive and need exercise.  If you get one from Battersea Dog's Home, check their temperament, what their background is and whether they have a history of being with children. Also, check how big they will grow!  Dogs also need training, need to be socialised and groomed and they are demanding when it comes to entertainment.  They like to be played with and walked and to have a run.  They need toys, lots of food, equipment such as leads, baskets, collars etc and their vet bills can be very expensiveeven just for vaccinations and health checks.  Big dogs could bowl over a child but many are very patient with little ones pulling their ears or treading on their toes.  Just keep an eye on the dogs and children when in close proximity.
  • Cats: are fairly independent and spend much of their time out of the house.  They need vaccinations and can require vets attention for various ailments.  They also may chew or scratch furniture so need training. Cats and kittens are not really suitable for children under five.  A toddler's affection could seriously damage a kitten!  Older cats may be able to cope with the sudden noise and movement of children, but may also find being in a room full of noisy children rather  threatening.  They may run away or may swat with a paw.  With regards a cat smothering a baby, it seems this is largely exaggerated. However, it is strongly advised that a cat should not sleep on a child's bed for fear of suffocation.
  • Mini-pets: goldfish are a great option is your space, time and patience is short.  Children love the idea of a fish as a pet and will enjoy getting involved with the feeding and cleaning.  Avoid reptiles, unless you are already familiar with owning them, as they are expensive and need all sorts of specialist equipment.


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