Pop-Ins Schoolhouse

9083 West Peakview Drive 80123 Littleton, CO
Phone: 303-979-0094
Pop-ins Creative School House




Tag: toddler care Littleton CO | toddler daycare Littleton CO | daycares in Littleton CO


As children grow up, it’s important to teach them how to treat and relate to dogs, cats, and other pets so both the children and the animals can stay safe and happy.  Some children, especially toddlers and young children, might be unkind to animals simply because they don’t know any better.
Start early by encouraging toddlers to be gentle to animals:  

  1. Demonstrate where they can touch an animal on top of their heads.
  2. Show children how gently to stroke them in the direction the fur grows.  
  3. Gently but firmly discourage any grabbing, shouting or hitting and tail pulling.  
  4. Show them not to touch the animal's eyes or tail ever.
  5. It’s essential to teach kids to never try to take away a toy.
  6. Never allow kids to get near your dog’s food bowl while he is eating.
  7. Make sure to also explain that you should never startle an animal, throw something at them, or yell in their face.
  8. Urge them never to put their faces near an animal's face.
  9. Teach them never to stand on their feet.
  10. Ask permission to pet other animals - When it comes to other peoples’ pets, tell your children that they should never pet an animal without asking the owner first.
  11. Teach your kids to say, “May I pet your dog/cat?” If the answer is no, respect that and walk away.
  12. This is also a great time to teach your kids about service animals. If you see a dog out in public wearing a vest, chances are that dog is either helping a person with disabilities or is being trained to do so. The dog is working, so don’t call out to the dog or distract him or her in any way.


Animal body language can sometimes be a little tricky. Talk with your children about how dogs and cats might act: “If the dog’s tail is wagging back and forth, that means he’s happy! But if he growls or flattens his ears, you need to stop petting him and walk away, because he’s angry.”
For cats, common signs of anger or discomfort include hissing, a straight tail, and a rigid body.
Reiterate to your children that if an animal is trying to get away from you, it’s best to let the animal go instead of forcing it to do what you want.

There are many ways to introduce children to animals first hand:

  1. Frequent trips to the zoo, parks or animal sanctuary is always a great exposure to many different types of creatures. Use nature as a setting to learn more about animals, foster curiosity, and nurture children’s innate feelings of love and concern for wild creatures. These skills and feelings are more important today than ever!
  2. Actually owning a dog, cat, hampster or small animal is one of the best ways to help children learn responsibility and empathy towards another living creature. 

Talk about the animals they see in books and on the screen. When you spot animals in television shows and movies, point them out to your children.

Research also shows that when children are encouraged to care for animals, they tend to be more sensitive and caring toward other children and adults as well. So by supporting children’s love for animals, you’re helping nurture those all-important feelings of human connection and caring as well.

@Pop-Ins Schoolhouse we spend a lot of time talking and reading with our toddlers, preschoolers and kindergarten children about animals and how to care for them and love them.