Kids & Dogs - The Beginning of a Beautiful Friendship
We are here to give you a short guide about kids/babies and doggies. First let's see what to do if you have a dog and a baby is on its way:
Well, when you have a dog and you give birth to a human baby your dog experiences more or less the same as a kid who's having a little sister/brother: jealousy. You may know the feeling when everyone's crazy about your little sibling and you just stand there having no clue what wrong you did to deserve this. Well, a dog's mind is similar (in some aspects) to a 3 years old's mind, so most probably your dog will think that it's the new born's mistake that the owner spends less time with them.
To avoid this you should know (& do) the followings:
- If you know that you will have less time to walk your dog when the baby has arrived, start to reduce walking time beforehand and step by step.
- You should show to your dog more often that you are the pack leader. Try to train him that if you say for instance STOP he should stop immediately, no matter what. This could help in the future when the dog interacts with the baby. (read more about re-establishing pack leadership: https://www.cesarsway.com/dog-training/socialization/introduce-your-dog-to-your-baby)
- Let your dog play alone a bit more than he is used to, so in the future he won't associate playing alone with the arrival of the baby.
- The same goes for habits. If the dog has always been allowed to sleep on the couch don't make him think that he can't do that anymore because the baby is born.
- After the baby is born, take some baby scented clothes home from the hospital and let your doggie smell it. Let him approach the clothes slowly and with respect. Having intoduced the clothes to the dog, take the piece of baby clothes to your room. Don't left the clothes with your dog as this way you teach him that with the baby he can do whatever he wants.
- When the baby comes home its scent will be familiar to the dog which is positive. Make sure that mommy is just as happy about seeing the dog as she used to be before giving birth.
-ALWAYS supervise baby/kid + doggie moments. Try to read your dog's body language and if you see that he is uncomfortable with the situation do something. Sometimes the dog enjoys playing with the kid and it's just a little thing that needs to be changed in the kid's behavior to make things good again. At other times it is neccessary to interfere and put an end to the situation (for instance if the dog is growling or it's nipping the child).
It is a hard thing to have kids and pets at the same time, it is worth it though. Why?
1. Your Kid Becomes a Responsible Owner
A dog needs to be fed/walked regularly. You can give some tasks to your child that s/he needs to do regularly. This way s/he will know how to be responsible. Agree on a period of the day when your kid has to fill the dog's bowl with dry food each and every day. For instance make it to be a duty in the morning,before heading to school. This way getting up won't be a nightmare, it will be a chance to be a responsible dog owner.
2. Owning a Dog is Healthy
Scientists claim that those who own a pet have less risk of developing allergies and asthma. It's also true for the problems of the soul and mind. If you have a fluffy dog to cuddle you won't be sad for too long. :)
3. Improved Social Skills
A relationship between dog and owner is somewhat similar to a relationship between two people. Kids with few friends and/or weak social skills will benefit a lot of having a buddy in the garden. It's especially true for kids/people with autism. Those autist people who own a dog, have more developed social skills than other autists. Being a dog owner is a bit like being a parent. The other's needs are first. Kids need to observe the behavior of the doggie and notice if it's hungry or wants to go for a walk etc. When a child feels that walking the dog is more important than completing the level of the video game, mommy and daddy can be happy: the kid's empathy skills are improving thanks to the dog. At last but not least a dog may strengthen the bonds of family members as walking the dog is a shared duty and a shared free-time activity.
Read more about the psychologycal benefits of owning a dog: https://www.nytimes.com/1990/01/11/us/health-children-and-their-pets-unexpected-psychological-benefits.html
Have a nice day!