Introducing a new pet to your home when you already have young children is a delicate matter; likewise, bringing home a newborn to meet the family dog can be a cause of concern for many new parents. However, living harmoniously with both children and dogs is not only possible, but it’s also a heartwarming solution for any family looking to bond together.
Here is a guide on how to stay safe, happy and promote a better relationship between child and pet.
Encourage as Much Time Together as Possible
It’s important for your child and family dog to become familiar with one another. It’s also essential that both parties understand the routine of the other. With this in mind, you should encourage the dog to be present for all tasks involved with the child, whether that’s playtime, bathtime or feeding time.
Naturally, this needs to be in a controlled way with an adult always present and the dog behaving well enough not to interfere. This is much better than excluding the dog completely. This will also help the dog to understand that you are also paying attention to it as well as the child and lower the risk of jealousy.
Furthermore, you should help the child to become more involved with the dog. Have your child be present when you walk the dog and also encourage playtime together, as well as having your child help with day to day care. Enabling your child to have more of an input in the dog’s care will encourage love and bonding.
Try Grooming Services
Taking a young child along to your dog’s grooming appointment can be very exciting for them. They get to see a new place, they get to see other people integrating with dogs and they get to see their own new best friend undergoing fun and essential grooming processes. With high quality grooming services like Heart + Paw, you and your child can watch your dog undergo their treatments and enjoy the trip together.
Teach Your Child How to Correctly Touch the Dog
Your child’s natural instinct may be to wrap its arms around its new furry friend and give it a tight hug. However, your dog may misconstrue this or be uncomfortable with it. By teaching your child the safe and correct way to pet the dog, you are enabling a more trusting relationship. Demonstrate to your child how to stroke the dog’s head and neck and be clear about what your child shouldn’t do and where it shouldn’t touch.
Always Ensure That Your Dog Gets Enough Exercise
Dogs with pent up energy and those who are spending too much time indoors will need a release for that energy, and this may result in them behaving energetically and frantically with your child. Understanding how much exercise your dog rightly needs means that their time spent at home will be less restless, leaving more time for your dog and child to bond in a calmer way.