Child Safety Tips
- Never leave children unsupervised around dogs.
- Teach your children to ask a dog owner if it’s OK to pet the dog.
- Teach your children to pet a dog under their chin and not by reaching over his back or head.
- When children are young, guide their hands, showing them where to pet a dog, cat, horse, bunny
or any other pet, so they learn to touch gently.
- Teach them never to run at a pet or pull its tail or ears.
- Remind them that animals hurt too, and to be careful when they are playing near a pet.
Bringing Home Baby
- Bringing home a new baby means having less time for your pet than you did before. Cats are very independent and generally tolerate newborns well, but a dog may feel jealous and territorial, not realizing that the baby is a human pack member. Make the changes to the dog's routine slowly, before the baby is born. Have the dog spend some time around children (supervised, of course), so he gets used to them and you can see if he appears to like them. Most people know the spots on their dog’s body that might be sensitive to pinching from little fingers. Practice handling your dog in the way a child might, such as gently pulling on ears, tail, or paws, and reward the dog if he sits nicely without a negative reaction. You might also teach him how to gently accept food from a hand.
- You can help your dog acclimate to his new human sibling by bringing home a blanket with the baby's smell on it prior to the baby’s homecoming. To prevent feelings of anger and resentment toward the new baby, show your dog twice as much attention and offer special treats to him when the baby is around. This helps create a positive association with the baby. Taking your dog on special outings that do not involve the baby but are only about the dog having fun helps to keep that dog-human bond and quell Spot's possible feelings of rejection. Take time to play with your cat, especially if you used to - to avoid feline frustration and boredom.
- Until you can gauge your dogs’ temperament toward the new baby, make sure that your dog is leashed and held by Dad during the greeting process. This helps control him without too much fuss, especially if he acts strangely and wants to get too close a look. I also suggest placing a tall baby gate at the entrance of the nursery, to prevent your pets from visiting the baby while unattended.