Is It Safe for Kids and Strangers to Pet Your Dog?

Because you take pride in your dog, it probably thrills you when kids or strangers want to pet your dog. The action of other people wanting to pet your dog is probably meant with the utmost sincerity for a beautiful dog. However, it is up to you to be familiar with your dog’s mannerisms before you decide if you should allow other people to pet him.

Be Familiar with Your Dog

Only you can judge the character of your dog. Because you live with him and have raised him, you are familiar with his tendencies, his likes and dislikes, his attitude towards strangers, his comfort level with kids and whether he likes to be petted on the neck, back or face. These are personality traits of your dog that you should be aware of before you consider letting any strangers or kids around him.

If you are taking your dog to the park for a nice leisurely walk, you should be prepared for the entourage of kids that may wan to pet your dog. Chances are that if you are taking your dog to a park where there are kids, then your dog is probably comfortable around them.

However, some dogs either do not like kids or are stressed out by the squealing and constant movement of kids. Before you can decide to let any kids pet your dog, you need to be sure of how he will react so that the kids are not harmed and you are not sued.

Caution Strangers and Kids Approaching Your Dog

If you are unsure of how your dog will react to a variety of different people or you are afraid that quick movements will alarm your dog, then you should always caution people to be slow and gentle when approaching him. Some dogs readily basque in the attention of onlookers. While other dogs can be somewhat leery and alarmed when surrounded by a lot of people. This can sometimes cause your dog to react in an unkind manner.

In order to caution other people without offending anyone, you can simply let strangers and kids when they come up to your dog that he is a little skittish and that they will need to move slowly if they want to pet him. This will allow you to get your point across without being overbearing and it will also give you the chance to see how your dog will react. Just in case, however, you should always keep a tight reign on your dog's leash.

Transmission of Germs

One other thing that you might be concerned about with strangers and kids petting your dog is the transmission of germs. Kids are notorious for carrying germs because they touch everything, like dirt, swings, slides and other children. So, it is understandable that you would want to make sure that none of these germs can be transmitted to your dog.

However, the transmission of germs isn’t something that you need to overly worry yourself about. Most illnesses, like colds, the flu or even chicken pox, cannot be transmitted to your dog. The viruses and bacteria that carry such illnesses are typically not threatening to dogs. Likewise, if your dog has a cold, there is no chance of you contracting it because the bacteria that affect him cannot survive inside of you and vice versa.

So, if you are concerned about strangers and kids petting your dog, all you really need to do is to be familiar with your dog's personality and behavior. In most cases, there should be no problems with other people petting your dog and you can enjoy the shower of attention that your dog gets.