Dogs are one of those rare non-human species which have an uncanny bond with humans. The only other mammal, the dolphin, which seems to share equal camaraderie with us, unfortunately lives in the oceans! Since dogs share such a great, almost magical bond with us humans, they have been given VVIP status in the history of human evolution.
From being hunting partners during the stone-age, to being war-partners, dogs have indeed come a long way with us. Now, they live in our houses and share almost every moment that we spend at home. However, some dog owners tend to neglect their dogs when they get a baby, often resorting to tying them up or even locking them in the garage for the rest of their lives.
That is totally uncalled for and downright cruel. Dogs are quite safe to have around your kids. They will probably love your kids more than you do!
It is important to keep in mind the following points while introducing your baby to your pet dog:
- If your dog has a history of aggressive behavior towards new people, then it is best not to take your new-born too close to your dog immediately after you get home from the maternity clinic. Your dog might bark initially when it senses a new person with you, but it will slowly calm down as you go about your daily routine and your baby is safe in his/her pram. Do not stop your dog from sniffing around the baby’s pram. That’s just its way to get acquainted with the ‘new human’.
- Do not leave your kid alone with the dog when you are not at home even when your dog seems to be extremely gentle with the baby. Babies have a tendency of pulling at anything and falling over anything. If they hurt your dog somehow, it might trigger an automatic reflexive bite which your dog did not intend. That will just create panic in you and your entire family, not to mention leaving your poor dog with a lot of unnecessary guilt (yes, dogs do feel guilty!).
- Let your dog know its limits by using words like ‘No’ or ‘Stop’ when it tries to use its teeth during a friendly tussle with your baby. Of course that is when your baby grows up by a year or two at least. Also, if your dog is regularly vaccinated, there is no cause for worry from all that drool. Just wash up with a good cleanser afterwards and you are good!