We live in a world where children often come into close encounters with dogs and understanding child safety around dogs can help prevent dangerous dog bites and injuries to your child. Dog attacks can seriously injure or kill a baby. Prevent dog bites by avoiding dangerous situations when a dog is around a child. Newborns, infants toddlers and small children under the age of six should never be by themselves around a dog.
In addition to not being left alone, do not allow children to kiss, hug or sit on top of a dog. Never let a child be around a dog when the dog is eating, and never let a dog close to a small child who has food in his or her hand. Even seemingly friendly family pets can turn on a baby. Dogs may resent a baby for taking the owners’ attention away from them. Dogs use their noses to identify who the person is so it is a good idea to teach a child to allow a dog to sniff his or her closed fist before petting the dog. Dogs are very fast and can easily outrun a child. Scared children often run from a dog which can cause a more aggressive reaction in dogs who like to chase, so teaching children not to run is a good idea. It is dangerous for a child to lie down on the ground when around a dog as this scenario has been shown to sometimes cause a dog to attack.
Dog attack prevention tip
Understand that dogs can bite children for many reasons. Help prevent your child from getting bitten by a dog by not allowing a child to hug, pull the tale of or ride on top of a dog. Most dog bites happen to children who are playing with or around a dog. Do not let children bicycle or skateboard nearby dogs. Do not allow children to bother a dog while it is eating or feed a dog. Scaring or surprising a dog can also incite a dog attack and dog bite. One of the most common ways a child is bitten by a dog is when they are walking on the sidewalk. An unfamiliar dog walking by can in an instant bite your child so you should always pay attention to prevent these types of dog bites. The list of reasons a dog may bite a child is extensive and so it is vitally important that you never leave your baby alone with any dog, even the family pet as something could happen that you may regret for the rest of your life.
Dog safety step one is to get your family dog adjusted to the baby even before the baby arrives home for the first time. That is right, there are several things that can be done beforehand to help the transition for your dog and his or her ability to adjust to the newest addition to the household. The arrival of the baby and the change in attention is a big thing for pets especially dogs who if not adjusted property could react badly in this stressful environment. Remember, for your dog it is often a change from being the one that came first and got all the attention and now after the baby has arrived the dog is relegated to a secondary focus around the house. Follow these dog – child safety tips for newborn babies and you can improve the situation for the dog, the baby, other family members and yourself.
Start Learning Dog Safety Lessons Before the Baby is Born
Tips for pet owners before the baby comes home. First off research the breed of dog you have so that you learn things about your dog and additional information on how that dog breed is known to react around babies.
Take your pet to the vet well ahead of the baby’s arrival to make sure the pet is up-to-date on his medications and shots and that he does not have any worms or other health issues. Make sure you have a supply of flea control, heart worm protection, and any other medications from your vet. Important, store these medicines and products safely out of the reach of a baby.
Your dog needs to be obedient. Many of the obedience commands we do not practice or use often enough so it is a good idea to review obedience understanding between you and your dog. Consider using these different basic commands in different places such as in the bedroom, laying down on the couch, outside at the park, in the car, in a crowded area and maybe even in an elevator. These different places will make sure he understands and follows you whenever you need to give a command.
If you are leaving someone responsible for taking care of your pet while you are at the hospital then it is important to make sure your dog is familiar with that person ahead of time.
Children act different than adults with their very quick movements, running around, screaming, laughing and decision making. This is especially true when a child sees a dog and children will often respond to the presence of a dog in many different and unexpected ways so it is a very good idea to get your dog comfortable being around children. Getting your dog socialized around children in safe environments will make the dog better understand children and increase the dog’s comfort level with kids. Positive experiences around children will help the dog better cope with a new baby around the house.
Understand your dog. For instance, notice in which ways the dog is giving you cues for things such as walks, play and to refill his or her water bowl. You may want to practice ignoring attention seeking behavior from your dog so that when you are busy with the baby in the future the dog will better understand. Some dogs react to certain sounds, fast movements, skateboarders, bicyclists and other dogs in aggressive or undesirable ways so observe your pet and research your breed’s tendencies and sensitivities making you better prepared for these situations.
Your routine and schedule is going to be different after you arrive home from the hospital with the baby. Naps, feeding times, diaper changes, visitors to the house and more will all be part of your new lifestyle. The dog will be adjusting to have some flexibility with feeding times, exercise routines and attention. Prepare your dog for these changes by varying your feeding times, exercise routines and how often you pay attention to your dog.
Babies come home to lots of new things in the house like cribs, rocking chairs, swings and playpens to name a few. Your dog should be introduced to these new items so the dog is more familiar with them. It is important you train your dog the behavior you want from him or her when around the baby equipment. Taking the time to set these expectations for your dog for instance when near the crib and around the rocking chair will prove very helpful later on and reduce the stress on you and your dog.
Babies cry and make all sorts of noises. Some dogs do not get bothered by these sounds and noises while others react much differently. The best thing you can do is play some baby noises sounds on your smart phone, television or computer. You can purchase tapes of baby sounds but you can also find them for free on sites like Youtube.
Holding a baby, carrying a newborn in an infant carrier, strapping a newborn into a car seat, using a stroller and other ways baby’s move around are not only new experiences for the mother and father but also new experience for the dog. Why wait till you have the baby home already to begin getting yourself and the dog adjusted to moving about? Instead, use a large plush toy to transport around in the stroller, car seat, carrier and in your arms so you and your pet can see how to balance the situation. Especially challenging can be walking your dog while using a stroller so it is best to practice this ahead of time so you can work out the problems.
Baby’s have distinct smells and dogs will quickly want to sniff the new baby. A day before you bring the baby home, prepare the dog for the smell of the newborn baby by having the dad bring a baby blanket from the hospital that the baby boy or baby boy used. Dad will likely have the smell of the baby on him which can help to familiarize the dog and he can place the blanket in the crib or swing and leave it there when he returns to the hospital. Before even giving birth you can put a little baby lotion on the baby equipment like the car seat, crib, high chair, toy box and stuffed animal you were practicing transporting around so the dog learns through smell that these are for the baby. Put some lotion on the baby’s clothing when you bring the newborn home so the scent of this new arrival is familiar for dog.
Now that you have spent months preparing your dog for the big day when the baby arrives it is time to start thinking about dog safety tips when the baby comes home from the hospital for the first time. Remember, if you are having problems keeping your baby safe because of your family pet dog then call a professional who can help. Follow the safety tips that will help guide you to creating an everyday living situation that is safe for the baby when you have a pet dog.
The most important thing you can do safety wise is to never leave the baby alone with the dog. Supervise the baby and the dog whenever they are together and do not turn your back on the situation – not even for one second. You have to pay attention as it will be often you may get up to get something to eat, grab a diaper, open the door, change your clothes or grab a book from the other room. Every time you do something like that you must take the baby with you or at least take the dog with you or separate the two with a door or gate. Again it only takes a second for something bad to happen and especially for newborns you must protect your baby.
Friendly family pets have on many occasions injured or killed a baby. A dog who hears a baby crying, making noises or making quick movements may create a negative reaction in the dog. The sounds and movement of a baby can trigger instinctive predator – prey reactions making the dog think the baby is the prey causing it to aggressively attack. Other dogs may react by carrying the baby in its mouth similar to how puppies are carried by their parents after birth. Strategies for providing a safe environment for a newborn baby when first meeting the family dog. Take your time with the introduction and be very careful as even a seemingly curious dog may act on an aggressive instinct.
The best way to avoid a dog bite is to keep distance between the baby and the dog and never let the baby get face to face with the dog. Do not put or leave the baby laying on the ground when the dog is present as this is inviting a disaster. Note, it is common to change your baby on the floor and a dirty diaper is something that will often attract the dog. This can cause all sorts of problems so put the dog in a gated off area while your baby is on the ground being changed. Do not let the dog lick the baby’s face or allow the baby to kiss the dog as this puts the dog and baby face to face.
[div class=”notice” class2=”typo-icon”]Promote a positive environment when the baby and dog are together so the dog associates the baby with happy, positive energy moments. Be positive when reinforcing good behavior by the dog. Never yell or hit the dog especially in the presence of the baby or the dog may associate the baby with the reason you are upset.[/div]
Crates, gated areas and dog beds are good ideas for giving the dog some personal space of his own. A few dog toys, some water and an occasional yummy bone can make this a positive place for the dog to be that is away from the baby.
It is important that the dog maintains or increases his daily exercise. A tired dog who exhausted himself playing catch for 30 minutes will be much more willing to lay down and relax at home around the baby than one who only gets 2 five minute walks everyday. The responsibility to walk, play and feed the dog may change in the household as mommy or daddy may just be too busy with the baby. In this case, neighbors, family, friends, dog-walkers, neighborhood teenagers eager to earn some money are all possibilities to make sure your dog is spending enough energy each day. Dogs benefit from also getting one on one attention like the baby so consider making someone responsible for a short period of time each day to train the dog.
Moving baby equipment like swings and walkers can get a dog excited and he may attack the moving equipment. Baby toys, balls, Tickle Me Elmo and other plush animals can all excite a dog so be careful. If you have more than one dog in the house then you will have to understand that you need even more effort to provide your baby with a safe home.
Toys for the dog and toys for the baby should be kept separate and you should not let the dog play with the baby’s toys. Sharing toys can have all sorts of problems as dog and baby may act possessively towards a particular toy causing the dog to get react violently. Dogs also have germs that can be spread to the baby if the dog chews on the toy and the baby later handles the toy. Regularly clean not only the baby’s toys in the house but also keep the dog’s toys clean.
Dog medications and flea killer products must be securely stored out of the reach of children. Other dog products like combs, shampoo and leashes should also be stored safely away from baby.