Today’s world is filled with dogs in strollers and babies on leashes. Now more than ever, our furry friends have asserted their role in our lives and are basically family.
With couples tending to get married a little later, there is a significant chance that once it comes time for having a baby, they have already got the pitter patter of tiny, furry feet running around the house. There is probably nothing cuter than the internet gold that is pics of babies with their puppy friends. Snuggled up in a sleeper seat or playing in the yard, dogs with their infant humans are the stuff of magic.
However, much like older children can get a little jealous or start to act out when their sibling comes along, dogs can get somewhat territorial.
Keeping harmony in your home and making sure your beloved pet gets along with your kids may come very naturally to some, and might take a little work with others. Here we offer some tips and advice but of course, even with the cutest and cuddliest of animals, it is necessary to exercise caution.
Check Your Breed – The breed of your dog has a lot to say about their personality. While you are at it, check your biases at the door. Many of us may be preprogrammed to flinch or step away from a pit bull, but that’s just the internal bias talking. There is little to suggest that as a breed, pit bulls are any more dangerous than any other dog. So if people have been making comments about your dog not being a good fit for your upcoming baby, take a sec to actually check what your dog’s breed says about them.
For instance, beagles are well-known for being friendly and loyal, much like labradors and retrievers. Dachshunds, however, are a little more likely to be on the snippy side.
Acclimate Your Dog – If at all possible, get your dog playing with kids from an early age. You don’t need to have kids of your own to get your dog used to the idea of kids. Get your dog out and about in public parks and playgrounds (safely of course, and listening to the parents around you) so they can see the kids at play. If your dog is well-behaved and kids are willing to play fetch or roll around, have at it. It is a great way to get your dog acclimated to the idea of little people.
Consider Waiting – If you’re thinking about getting a puppy and also having kids, time it out to your advantage. Puppies that grow up alongside their human companions are far more likely to be onboard with the idea of having a small human friend to go through life with. At younger ages, it can be easier for dogs to learn the ropes when it comes to babies.
Get Baby Involved – As soon as your kid is ready to help out, have them get involved with taking care of their furry friend. Dogs tend to love those who feed them. Having your tot help out with feeding and treats is a great way to build the bond between your baby and their best friend. As always, make sure to keep things safe and sanitary for your baby!
Bribery – When all else fails, you might need to throw in a few more treats for your pup. You already house broke your dog and trained them to fetch, this is another learning lesson for your little furry pal. Using treats to create positive associations between your dog and the new baby can be a helpful way to create a strong bond.
Having a dog can be a great thing for young kids. Learning to be gentle, responsible, and caring for another being can teach children about sensitivity and responsibility. Dogs present a wonderful learning opportunity for children and while it may seem like a daunting task to make sure that your whole family gets along, with a little bit of coaxing and encouraging, you will get there.
The whole family will enjoy a lifetime of love from your furry friend!