When you have a family, there are a lot of additional roles and responsibilities that you have to take on. When people live on their own, they may have more freedom to schedule and prioritize their tasks in a way that suits them best. However, when you have kids and/or a partner, there may be a whole different set of priorities to take into consideration.
A dog could be an excellent addition to many families. It usually doesn’t take long for this kind of pet to really become an integral part of the family. For many people, adopting a pet is one of their most rewarding experiences. For parents with babies in the house, however, juggling the two can definitely raise some issues. You want to make sure that both the baby and the dog get the right amount of care and love; however, balancing them can be tough. If you’re struggling in this area of your household, here are some care tips. These can help you to have a happier and healthier home.
How to Keep Giving Your Dog Attention
When you have a baby, you will naturally have to divide your time more. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t give your dog all the attention it needs. Consider looking into doggy daycare centers to ensure your dog gets some socializing and focused attention, which might be harder for you to do at home. Babies often quieten on walks in the neighbourhood, so you could take your dog and baby to some of your dog’s favourite spots.
Giving your dog attention doesn’t necessarily need to rely solely on your shoulders. You might want to invest in more stimulating toys for your pet, such as an automatic ball thrower and puzzle toys, to keep them mentally stimulated. There is also a number of doggy daycares located around the country where you can take your dog so they can socialise and potentially make a new friend to play with. Don’t forget to look into your dog’s annual vaccines or renew pet accident insurance before visiting doggy daycare for the first time.
How to Consider Safety
You should never leave your dog and baby alone together. Even if you’ve had your dog for years and they behave very well, a new baby can be confusing and can make them territorial. This is difficult to do – you may want to pop into the next room for a drink or head to the toilet. Rather than constantly moving your baby and possibly disturbing their rest (plus now not having two hands to do what you wanted), consider having healthy dog treats in various stations around the house and call your dog to come with you – they will learn that it is worth coming too when you leave.
Another good precaution is to set up a safe space for your dog away from the baby. This should preferably be somewhere the baby cannot get to once they start crawling, and try to defend your dog’s space as much as you can. It might be a bed, crate, or room – but your dog should know that it is a baby-free zone, and they can retreat there when they want some peace. Doing so should help to reduce the chances of your dog lashing out in frustration.
Make use of baby gates around your home – consider putting one on or near your baby’s room so that you can keep your dog out if necessary. You might need to keep various creams or medications handy when changing your baby, and keeping your dog out of the room will keep them safe and out from underfoot. Having a gate rather than shutting the door can limit a dog’s separation anxiety and let them see what’s going on.
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