Children should be taught not to approach animals while they are eating their pet food, an expert has said.
Sarah Gould, of Monster Pet Supplies, said that the environment a pet lives in should always be safe, so it is important to teach young children how to behave around a new pet.
She said: "Make sure your child doesn't pull on the pet’s fur or tail, approach them when they're eating or enjoying a treat or feed the new pet any of their own food.
"A breeder or shelter should generally be able to advise you on how comfortable a pet is around children."
Ms Gould added that some cats and dogs may have had a troubled start in life, so should be more suited to a quiet home.
Her comments follow a study published in the British Journal of Developmental Psychology. The report found that children as young as 11 months showed more interest in live animals than they did toys.