Getting a new dog is always exciting. It’s fun to see how the dog reacts when they see the house. Sometimes dogs would explore the whole area, sniffing everything, and decide on a good spot to call the bedroom.
But if you have a toddler at home, then there are things you should take care of first. Both the dog and the toddler could hurt each other if left unattended. Of course, it depends on the dog breed and how your kid behaves, but it’s always recommended to play it safe.
Why it can be dangerous to get a new dog
When you bring a puppy or dog into your home, you’re exposing both your kids and the dog to each other. This can potentially create safety concerns that you certainly want to deal with as soon as possible.
Some risks to the dog from a kid:
- Anxiety and stress from being chased around, prodded, and poked.
- Poisoning from ingesting small toys or other items that your kids have. It can be things like diaper creams, raisins, grapes, or infant pain relievers. The dog can be exposed to these items when a small child drops them on the floor and intentionally sharing them with the dog.
- Physical injuries are also common, especially when your kid is bigger than the dog. A child could easily sit or step on a small dog.
Some risks to the kid from a dog:
- Dog bite – sometimes a dog could bite someone without warning whey they feel uncomfortable or threaten
- Intestinal parasites from dog feces.
- Intestinal bacteria like Salmonella could be transmitted from the dog’s food.
To introduce a dog to your kids, you should talk to them about being gentle and calm at all times. Let them know that the new dog may be scared or nervous, and they need time to get used to the new life.
Demonstrate to your kids how to properly pet the new dog and teach them about various dog body language. Children are actually great at this, so teaching them shouldn’t be too difficult.
Also, kids tend to be clingy, so you need to teach them how to give the new dog some space. You’ll have to watch out for dog food stains and scraps on your kids’ clothes. Don’t let them get near each other during mealtime. To make it easier, you can work together with your spouse – one watching the kids and one watching the dog.
Give them tasks to do together
It’s important to teach your kids to love their new dog. If you can teach them to think that the new dog is a friend rather than just a pet, they will treat the dog better. To do this you can ask them to do tasks together.
It can be something simple like solving a puzzle together or ask your kids “Tell Spotty where the squirrel is.” The more activities they do together, the more they will bond. Your kids will learn to treat the dog like a friend, and the dog will be more comfortable being around them.
Kids and dogs love to snuggle, so why not snuggle together? Everyone is always welcomed to sit on the couch and watch the TV together. Your dog on the right and your kids on the left. This can be done once everyone is exhausted from playing all day. Or perhaps, when everyone is already comfortable with each other, the dog and kids can snuggle alone.
Teaching both children and dogs requires patience and repetition. You’ll have to teach them over and over again until they get used to it. This is normal, and that’s why you need patience. And of course, you can speed things up with treats.
If your dog can behave while being around kids, give them a treat. If your kids can treat the dog nice, give them a treat too. Everyone is happy and you can get rid of your worries.
Introducing a new dog to your children is not as difficult as you might think. But still, it can be dangerous if not done properly.