A little bundle of joy joins the dog’s family

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It is magical for a family when a new baby arrives. A new chapter begins for everyone, even for our four legged family members.

We all need to prepare for such a great event, but a mother and father have at least 9 months to prepare. Our pet dog feels that something is in the air, but of course it can’t understand exactly what’s happening.

Here are some tips on how to make the process as smooth as possible:

– Sniff the baby cloth:

Bring home a cloth or item from the hospital that contains your baby’s smell. You let the dog sniff it but not play with it or take it away; you need to communicate that it belongs to us. In this way, the dog can become familiar with the scent of the baby, but it also starts to build respect for the new arrival.

– Establish rules around the baby:

Once you have brought home your new baby, you should teach your dog its limits. It is good to start in the nursery room before the baby’s arrival home. You can allow to your dog to enter the nursery room and sniff around only under your supervision, so it understands the space should be respected.

– Introduction:

The dog should be walked before the introduction, so its energy is released and it is as calm as it can be.

Whoever holds the baby should be completely calm, so the dog doesn’t feel any unnecessary tension.

The dog should be allowed to sniff the baby but from a reasonable distance. The best is if the dog and baby are not too close for the first time. This helps the dog to respect the baby.

– Your dog should still be an important part of the family:

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Don’t forget about your dog, which means you should maintain the daily routine. This helps the dog to feel secure and accept the new situation.

You can reward your pet with treats for its nice behaviour, so you are encouraging associating the baby with a positive feeling.

– Teach your child:

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Teaching your child how to act with a dog and how to respect it can’t start too early. As soon as your child begins to interact with the dog, explain and show how to behave appropriately with a dog. As a dog should be supervised on how to behave with children, your child has to be supervised to ensure it treats the dog properly.

Children have to learn how to behave with dogs as we discussed in the previous blog post:

https://blog.triptriphurray.com/2015/11/02/puppy-the-familys-new-addition/

– Babies safety first:

Dogs always need to be supervised. Never leave your baby alone with the dog, not even for one minute. A dog can become agitated by the sounds or actions of the baby; you can’t be sure about the dog’s reaction so never leave them together unsupervised.

Life after a new baby becomes hectic, but trying to maintain a routine as regular as possible helps the dog adjust to the new situation.

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With care, supervision and a little bit of preparation, you can live together safely and happily as one loving family.

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Puppy: the family’s new addition

puppy arrives in family

As we discussed the benefits of dogs for children in our previous blog post ‘Best dog breeds for children’, we fully believe that a family is complete with a dog.

But after we make a decision about breed, the next big step is prepare our children for the change and determine how best to introduce our new member into the family.

This is no problem for bigger children, as we can set the rules and agree on plans. But what about toddlers?

This is the hardest age group, as toddlers need a lot of attention. However, I believe that this is the ideal age to have a first dog, as the bonds that can form between a small child and a small dog are once in a lifetime.

Children and puppies have a lot in common; they are impatient, intense and sometimes unpredictable. That is why it is so important to supervise those first encounters between your child and the puppy and to manage carefully and with patience.

Toddlers may tend to treat the puppy as a stuffed toy by pulling its ears and fur, poking its eyes, stepping on its tail or sitting on it. A frightened puppy may instinctively bite or claw to defend itself. To avoid such a catfight, here are some rules and tips that are worth following to make the introduction of the new puppy easier and quicker.

– Being present:

You should always be present! You can stay in the background, but supervise and be ready to step in if needed.

– Teaching rules:

We need to teach the basic rules to our children, and how to act with a dog. How to touch and pat a dog, and of course how not to treat it, like not smacking, pulling ears, fur, poking eyes, stepping on its tail or leg, or sitting on the dog and so on. And of course, explain to your children not to disturb the dog while sleeping, chewing or eating.

– Limits for children:

We need to explain to toddlers and young children that puppies are living and feeling animals, not stuffed toys. We need to teach them limits about when to stop poking them and when to leave them alone.

– Canine body language:

Teach your child when he should stop playing with the dog by learning to identify signs of dominance from the puppy.

– Safe place to retreat for the puppy:

Everyone needs a private place, and so too does the puppy. We need to provide him with a place where children can’t bother him. Of course, for toddlers we need to supervise them, as they are too young to understand.

– Puppy talk:

We need to ask children to keep their voices down, as a puppy can be frightened by screams or high voices. We can explain that puppies can get frightened of scary sounds like children.

– Encourage your child to help you take care of the dog:

Having a pet is a wonderful way to teach your child responsibility. Depending on the age of your child, you can include him on your walks with the dog or he can help feed him or clean up after him. They can even take part in the training in the dog school.

But if we complete this introduction phase with care and supervising, we help to establish the basis for a magical friendship, as nothing compares to the bond between a child and a dog.

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And there is one more important thing:

– Do not pet a dog you don’t know!

Once your children are ‘dog-savvy’ and not afraid of dogs, be sure to teach them not to touch dogs they don’t know, and always to ask for permission before interacting with someone else’s dog. They may love animals and not be scared by them, but you should explain that not all dogs are like the one at home!