When people are going to visit family or friends in California who they know have a dog, it is wise for them to talk with their children beforehand about how to behave responsibly around a new animal they have never met. Because dogs are so beloved and a lot of children find them both exciting and fun, parents should prioritize educating their children so they can be safe and confident around any new dogs they encounter.

One thing that parents can do is to contact the person they will be visiting who owns the dog. They may consider asking them if there are any bits of information that would be wise for them to be aware of in relation to their pets so they can act comfortably around the dog when they first meet.

Interestingly, one tip that experts recommend according to wagwalking.com, is that newcomers ignore a dog completely upon entering a home. They should not pet the dog, speak to the dog or even make eye contact with the dog. This allows the animal to discover and become comfortable with the newcomers on its own terms to eliminate the risk of the animal becoming spooked or aggressive.

Rady Children’s Hospital of San Diego also suggests some helpful tips for parents to teach their children about how to properly play with a dog. One suggestion is that people never tease a dog by holding its toy out of reach or pulling it away when the dog goes to fetch it. They should also never deliberately take a toy away from a dog. Interrupting a dog that is grooming, eating or sleeping are other dangerous behaviors. If a dog is a new parent or is tending to its babies, it should be left alone completely.