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My dog and my baby: what precautions should I take?

It is very important to ask yourself before the arrival of your baby at home about the precautions to take and the safety rules to follow so that the dog does not cause any problems. This question should be taken seriously because any negligence in this area can lead to bites. It is therefore well before the exit of the maternity that it is necessary to worry about it. Let's take stock of the situation so that your baby is safe despite the presence of a dog at home.

A baby at home: an event that can disturb the dog

While the dog was getting all the attention, now a little one is getting all the attention. The dog is likely to feel rejected if he has not been prepared for this arrival. Such negligence multiplies the risk of bites. This is why, a few weeks before the arrival of the baby, the owners must take the time to show the dog the space that will be reserved for the child and not to push the animal aside when they modify the layout of the house. It is also important to say the child's name often so that the dog will remember it.

The dog should feel included in this new life, but learn not to go into the baby's room alone, long before the child is born. When the baby finally arrives home, the parents should continue to spend time with their dog every day, playing games and taking turns going for a walk with him or her, not to mention petting the animal regularly and talking to it in a reassuring voice.

By showing the dog that he is still part of the family, the acclimatization will be much easier for him and will go smoothly.

Educate the dog as soon as possible

Training a dog of any breed - whether it's a small or large dog - should start within the first few weeks of the animal's life. This is much easier than when the dog is older and has developed all sorts of bad habits. This is absolutely necessary to make the cohabitation between the dog and the family members as harmonious as possible, even if the owners don't have children yet. Therefore, the earlier the dog is trained, the more it will be possible for him to accept the arrival of a baby at home.

The dog must obey different simple and basic commands. Sit, down, back to the basket, no jumping, are the basics. It is possible - and even highly recommended - to entrust the education of a dog to a dog trainer so that it can be done in the best conditions.

To each his own territory

The dog must not eat in the same room as his masters, nor sleep in their room or the child's room. He must know the limits of his territory very early on. He will understand this nuance all the better if the child learns to respect his dog's territory as well as his peace and quiet. The child should not bother the animal when it is eating or when it is quietly installed in its basket. Everyone should have a place and stick to it. However, the dog should never have the opportunity to feel superior to the child, or even to adults.

Never leave a baby alone with a dog

This seems obvious, yet not all parents are suspicious. Never leave a baby or young child alone with any dog, even if the animal is perfectly trained. A trained and sociable animal can bite out of misunderstanding, fear, irritation, jealousy, or because it is hurt somewhere.

Taking the dog in hand when a baby comes home is fundamental, but it is equally crucial to teach the child to behave well with his little companion as soon as he starts walking and afterwards. It is therefore advisable to teach him as soon as possible not to pull the tail and the ears of the dog, that one never wakes up his animal in startle, but also that a dog is not a pony! It is always possible that the gentlest of canines will one day rebel against the little man and the consequences can be dramatic.