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The child is afraid of dogs and cats – what to do, how to help overcome fear, advice of psychologists

How to help a child cope with the fear of dogs and cats

Usually children love animals and are friends with dogs and cats. They are happy to spend time with four-legged friends, take care of them. But sometimes the child starts to be afraid of them. Why is this happening and what should parents do? There are ways to help adults successfully overcome fear.

Dogs and cats usually delight boys and girls. Children have a huge interest in them and often ask their parents to have such a pet. But sometimes the child’s attitude to animals is reversed, and fear arises.

Fear is an emotion necessary for the self-preservation of any person. At certain moments in life, everyone feels this feeling, but sometimes it takes a dangerous form. Therefore, parents should take responsibility for manifestations of animal fear of the child in order to help him in time.

Fear of cats – aylurophobia, fear of dogs – film phobia, and animal fear – zoophobia.

Causes of fear can be different:

  1. Unsuccessful experience with the dog or cat, negative experiences associated with this.
  2. Unpleasant consequences of communication with the animal. Even if the dog bit the baby, the fear does not always appear. But it can be caused by the further development of the situation – a trip to the hospital, treatment of the wound, injections and other medical manipulations.
  3. Increased emotionality, unstable psyche. If the child is inclined to take the problems of others to heart, then fear of animals can arise even after telling people about the troubles associated with cats or dogs. The kid is worried that this will happen to him, and therefore begins to panic fear of four-legged friends.
  4. Some physiological pathologies – delayed development, limited physical abilities, deaf mute.


Psychologists give general advice to parents what to do if a child has a fear of something.

  1. Explain why the animal behaves aggressively and can bite.
  2. Watch with the baby behind the object of his fear, do not immediately contact him closely.
  3. Together laugh at the funny tricks of a cat or a dog. If the pet is lonely or sad, then pity him. Funny and worthy pity animals do not cause fear.
  4. Pay attention to the problems of the baby, listen, do not ignore in any way.
  5. Do not scold, do not be ashamed, do not make fun of your child for fear. It will be worse if the crumb does not hide your problems, so as not to lose your love. Fears will go inside.
  6. Invite the child to draw or describe in detail fear. Something abstract-terrible is always more terrible than something more concrete.

Dr. Komarovsky believes that the psychological damage from an animal attack is often more serious than a wound. But fear of animals does not only develop after a bite. If the dog growls loudly, suddenly chases after the child or just bared, then fright may arise.

If the child is frightened of his dog after an accidental bite, it is important to explain to the baby that the dog is usually friendly and affectionate, if not to tease and not to beat, then it will be kind. Therefore, you need to teach that a pet is not a toy, it is necessary to behave properly with it. It is equally important to understand what triggered his aggression. Often children are frightened not by the situation itself, which caused fright, but the wrong reaction to her parents - excessive excitement, panic, anxious voice of my mother.

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