When you’re expecting a baby, there’s a lot to think about—especially if you have a dog at home. Is it safe for dogs to be around babies? Do you need to separate them? Or is training your pet a solution? You may be surprised to learn that some of the same steps you’re already taking to baby-proof your living spaces will apply to dog-proofing your home too. So, if you want to ensure baby safety around dogs and dog safety around babies, here’s what you need to know.
Tips for dog-proofing your home
Making your home a safe space for your baby and your dog begins by thinking through the unique challenges of having an animal in the family. To plan for baby safety, here are some dog-proofing tips:
- Remove hazards. Some of the same hazards you worry about for your child are threats to your animals, too. Open stairwells, electrical outlets and harmful chemicals are all dangerous for both children and pets. Cover electrical outlets, put gates around open stairwells and move any potentially dangerous products, materials or tools far away from little hands or paws.
- Create safe areas. Using doors, barricades and safety gates, create protected places where your child can have tummy time, take naps and play without any intrusion from your pup.
- Invest in obedience training. Dog obedience training is always worthwhile, but especially when you have a precious child to protect. Put your dog into behavior training specifically geared toward safety around children if possible.
- Always monitor closely: When you do allow your dog around your baby, be fully present and pay close attention to their interactions. Never leave your baby unattended with your pooch. Be prepared to immediately intervene if necessary.
- Treat scratches immediately: Should your dog ever nip or scratch your child, even lightly and accidentally, respond quickly by washing the area with soap and water. Pets can carry viruses and bacteria you don’t want your baby to receive.
The risks and benefits of dog interaction with babies
No matter how long you’ve had dogs, you know they can feel like more than pets. For many pet owners, dogs are family. They’re trusted companions, loyal friends and faithful playmates. All the benefits you enjoy from having a furry friend are benefits that your baby can experience too —in time. Unfortunately, when your little one is a fragile infant or toddler, there are some risks of having a dog in the house. Even a completely docile, friendly pup could knock over a toddling child without meaning to do so, for example. That’s why practicing baby safety around dogs is so important.
Editor’s Note: Pets can react in different ways to your new bundle of joy. Before the baby arrives, help your pet adjust with these tips.
Figo is committed to helping pets and their families enjoy their lives together by fusing innovative technology—the first-of-its-kind Figo Pet Cloud—and the industry’s most comprehensive pet insurance plans.
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