How to Safely Introduce Your Dog to Your Kids

Humans have coexisted with animals for thousands of years. Our bond with these domesticated beasts has only grown over the millenia, and today we are comfortable referring to them as family! 

Animals have also grown accustomed to being around humans thanks to domestication practices. However, despite their tame nature, certain family pets may have difficulty interacting with kids and vice versa. If you are introducing a young child to a household with a dog, you should be aware of the right methods for doing so.

Introducing a newborn to a household with dogs

Bringing a newborn into a home with an existing dog can be tricky. It’s unlikely that your pup will harbor any ill will towards the newest member of your family. However, some dogs may exhibit jealousy after learning they are no longer the center of attention in your household.

You can ease tensions between species by helping your dog bond with your newborn in a safe and controlled environment. Some steps to get your dog acquainted with their new sibling are shown below.

  1. Present your dog with an article of your baby’s clothing to familiarize them with the scent of a newborn. This should be done a few days before bringing your child home from the hospital.
  2. Allow your dog to gradually get used to being around children. Your dog should be kept on a leash and separated from your newborn for the first few days. You can start moving them closer over time.
  3. While keeping your dog tightly controlled on a leash, allow them to gently sniff your newborn.
  4. Supervise your dog during off-leash interactions with your child.
  5. Set up a space where your dog can get away from your newborn without being disturbed.

Your family dog will eventually get used to having a child around their living space and may even grow to love them! While kids can have great relationships with your dog, interactions between the two should always be supervised.

Introducing a dog to a household with small kids

Introducing a dog to a household with kids can be challenging because your new pup may lack socialization. Young dogs typically learn socialization between the ages of 4 weeks and 12 weeks, so it’s important to start introducing them to new people early on.

Here are some tips for socializing a new pup around kids:

  1. Teach your children the proper way to interact with dogs. They should respect your dog’s boundaries and know how to interact with them in gentle ways.
  2. Allow meetings to occur only when both parties are in a good mood. Interactions should never be forced when one of them is upset or tired.
  3. Supervise every interaction your child has with your dog. If your dog is small, your child should not be allowed to pick them up without your permission.

Giving your kids and fur babies the attention they need

It can be hard to juggle the needs of your children and pets! It’s also very important to give your pup the attention they need as dogs commonly act out with negative behaviors such as chewing and having accidents around the house when they feel stressed or neglected. Simple things such as daily walks and playtime in the yard will keep your dog happy and healthy, but can be hard to fit into your daily schedule. If you’re looking for professional pet care at an affordable price, Little Friends Pet Sitting has over 10 years of experience caring for pets of all kinds! Whether it’s during a night out, or a week long vacation getaway, Little Friends is here to treat your pets like family while you’re away!

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