I believe children benefit from being around and looking after animals. We have a dog, a hamster and fish at my house and we regularly visit the farm and parks where we see and interact with other animals. I am mindful that any animal could be a danger to children so I teach them how to treat animals kindly and be respectful of animals they do not know. We support two dogs from the Dogs Trust who send us quarterly magazines and letters from the dogs themselves. They also have a “Be Dog Smart” poster which is displayed on our notice board.
Parents are informed that we have animals by speaking to me at the initial enquiry stage and by looking on my website ilana-hill.co.uk.
The animals that we come into contact with are disease free.
Our dog is fully vaccinated and visits the vet twice a year for her checkups. The children sometimes come along.
If one of our animals becomes sick they will be quarantined in the lounge and I will contact the vet and follow their instructions.
The children are encouraged to feed our animals with my supervision. The food is kept in the cupboard next to the back door. After giving our animals food we all wash our hands and talk about why this is necessary.
Our dog’s food and water bowls are situated just inside the kitchen on the floor. The children are shown where they are and are told not to touch or play with them. I keep a strict eye on this.
Before any child interacts with any animals I make sure that I am aware of any allergies, fears, cultural and religious beliefs involving animals and take appropriate steps to respect these.
Policy Written by: Ilana Hill Date: 17 March 2010
Updated and reviewed: Annually or as required