When you visit a family that has a dog you need to consider whether or not the dog poses any threat to the child’s health, development or safety. According to the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 some dogs are outlawed. However these are not the only dogs that could be dangerous. You need to think about the dog and the child in the context of the family. For example:
- Is it a large dog in a small flat?
- Is the dog left alone with the child?
- Is the dog looked after properly?
- How much money is spent on the dog compared to the child?
Dogs can become jealous of children and babies.
In the event that you are not sure about the dog you should share your concerns with the family. In the event that you feel unable to do this you will need to discuss the issue, in the first place, with your manager. It may be a good idea to discuss this with the family’s health visitor as they are experienced in this area of work. In extreme circumstances, or when you suspect that the dog is one of the outlawed breeds or is a serious risk to the child, you should contact the police immediately.