One of the most common concerns for dog owners is how their fur baby will react to a new baby in the family.
While it can be impossible to predict what your dog will do when he is all of a sudden not the centre of attention anymore, there are countless families out there that have children and dogs. So how can you be sure that your two babies coexist in perfect harmony?
You will probably want to keep your new baby away from the family dog until she is old enough to understand acceptable puppy behaviour.
Letting your baby pull at his ears, dribble on him and pull out his hair is going to cause some serious anger and resentment.
When your child is old enough to understand what a puppy is, then there are several ways to incorporate positive pet care into your daily routine.
Treat Them The Same
Yes, we know, your dog is a dog; your child is your baby, but, in the eyes of your child, the pet should be treated like an equal family member. What this means is that you should try to treat the dog in similar ways as you treat your child. If the dog gets out of hand and barks or growls, then put him in the ‘time out’ in the same way your child would get a time out for misbehaving. Not only does this teach your toddler right from wrong but it also shows that it is not only him that has time outs.
Let Your Child Help Take Care Of The Dog
Children love to help out and while there are some jobs that you should do yourself, there are others that your child will be happy to help with. Feeding your pet, for example, can be a joint effort as can taking him for a walk, giving him a bath and brushing his fur.
Buy Your Child Her Own ‘Pet.’
Children love to do what mummy does.
When mummy is walking the dog at the park, your toddler will love to walk his own dog. There are plenty of different toy dogs that come with their very own accessories including a hair brush, leash, dog bowl and much more. This is a great way to encourage imaginative play and practice nurturing.
Choose Dog-Friendly Activities
Another great way to encourage the perfect friendship is to do things as a family.
Leaving your dog at home every day while you and your child explore the world is not always necessary. So, why not think about activities that your dog can join in on? Going to the beach, going for a picnic and playing soccer at the park are great activities for both children and dogs. Just be sure to bring a leash, plenty of water for your dog and your child as well as a doggy bag just in case.
One important thing to remember is that not all dogs are going to happily accept this new baby into their lives, especially older dogs.
If your pet has been the baby in the family for several years then having a screaming newborn that turns into a tantruming toddler is probably not going to go down well in his eyes. Make sure you always watch your child with your pet as even the most friendly dog can snap when you least expect it.
However, teaching your child how to play nice with puppy will also encourage a happier existence between your two babies.