One of the first things that you need to know about family dogs and babies is that there’s a major difference in the way that different dogs react to baby equipment. Some dogs want to give chase to anything that moves. This includes walkers and baby swings. On the other hand, there are dogs that find the repetitive motions soothing and will sit to simply watch. Some things to consider include:
- Dogs that love to chase everything that moves
- Dogs that react to sudden movement
- Dogs that are easily startled
- Dogs that are sensitive to noise and, if so, what types of noise they react to
Keeping Your Baby Safe
Never allow your family dog to stay in the room alone with your baby even for a second. Most attacks reported involving dogs and newborns have this fact in common. If you, or another adult, aren’t there to control the dog when the baby makes a sudden noise, it can have tragic results.
There are ways to avoid such incidents ahead of time. Start by introducing such things as baby swings and other baby equipment to your dog before the baby arrives. Baby swings come with all kinds of bells and whistles now. They make music, rotate and vibrate. You need to know how your dog will react to these things. Some dogs can’t control themselves around moving swings and have to give chase.
The vibration noise of swings may be irritating for some dogs and they’ll react. Objects that spin may delight infants but will entice dogs to try to catch them. Music can also irritate the ears of some dogs. Family dogs must be taught how to remain calm around baby equipment before the baby arrives. You can use a doll in the swing to practice with the dog.
Plan of Action
If you make it a positive experience for the dog, you can have your dog trained in plenty of time for the baby’s arrival. Some plans for such situations as ringing phones include:
- Closing the door to the room where the baby is
- Taking the dog with you
- Leashing your dog in the house to keep him near you
- Use a baby gate that locks in place physically to gate off the baby’s area
- Let your dog in a pet playpen or outside in a secured area to play
- Most of all, you must never leave your baby and dog unsupervised for ANY reason.