Should you let your child walk the family dog? They always ask when you’re out walking it together, so what’s the worst that can happen?
Well, it turns out that letting young children walk the dog is a terrible idea. A whole host of concerns can occur, putting your child and the dog’s safety at risk. If you’re considering letting your child walk the dog, here’s why you should think twice:
Dogs are stronger than little children
They may be smaller than your kids, but dogs can be a lot stronger than them. Especially when they’re being walked on a lead. I’m sure you’ve been in many scenarios when your dog tries to bolt ahead or spots something interesting. You feel the jolt of them on the lead, and it’s sometimes pretty hard to hold on!
Luckily, as an adult, you manage to stay in control and nothing bad happens. If the same thing happens to your young child, they lack the strength to pull back on the lead against the dog. This means they can be pulled along, leading to many potential problems.
What if your child is near a road when this happens? Your dog bolts to the side and they get pulled into oncoming traffic. It’s a horrible thought to consider, but it happens more often than you think. Also, because the dog technically caused the accident, it’s harder to figure out how to know when you have grounds for a claim. The chances are you’ll be at fault, so you won’t be able to claim compensation to deal with any injuries.
In a less severe situation, your dog could just rush forward and pull your child over. It won’t cause serious injuries, but they could still fall over and be hurt. Even small dogs are capable of this, which is why it’s probably a lot better to walk the dog yourself.
Children are more vulnerable than adults
If an adult is walking a dog, they’re less vulnerable to other people than children. Unfortunately, people are always looking to steal dogs and sell them on the black market. It happens all the time and is becoming a massive problem in some areas of the country.
The chances of your dog being stolen increase when your child is walking it. Even if you’re close by, it’s easier for someone to grab the leash from a child’s hand and run away. As well as being a traumatic experience for your kid, you also put your dog’s wellness at risk. If you’re the person walking the dog, you become less of a target for dognappers.
Not letting your child walk the dog may seem mean, but it’s for their own safety. You don’t want to put them in any unnecessary danger, nor do you want to risk your dog’s safety! As a general rule, you should avoid letting small children walk dogs by themselves. Most experts agree that children over the age of 12 or 13 should be old enough and strong enough to handle small/medium-sized dogs. For bigger breeds, you may have to wait until your kids are a tiny bit older.