A proper introduction can make your doggie love your child just the way he loves you. In this post, we share some smart tips to help your two adorable darlings live in perfect harmony with one another. In addition, we share a few “awww-so-cute” pictures of children and pooches bonding like the best of playmates.

Tanya's nephew, Arnav, caressing Lisa

Lifestyle writer and blogger  Tanya Munshi’s nephew, Arnav, caressing Lisa

Tip 1: Start Some Gentle Training Lessons While Your Baby is Still on its Way

While you learn to be a mother, your pooch can also learn to be a baby-friendly doggie. Here’s how to slowly prepare your pet for the change so she accepts it gracefully:

  • Train her to spend some “me” time in a quiet corner. You could get her a crate or a kennel loaded with her favorite toys, where she can seek refuge for some time every day. This will come handy when you need to devote time solely to your baby, or when it gets too noisy for the dog in the house.
  • Accustom the pooch to baby noises and smells by playing baby videos every day. And for the smell, let her sniff at the baby’s blanket while you’re still in hospital post-delivery. This serves as a good pre-meeting step!
  • Observe how your dog behaves with children. Most dogs are playful around children, but some may be unpleasantly aggressive – in case your dog belongs to the latter category, consider taking him to a pet behaviour therapist.
  • Dedicate one room as nursery, and prohibit him from entering there. The pet must never be allowed inside the baby’s private premises.
  • Train him to respond to basic verbal commands, in case he is not already. Sit, stay, gentle, go to bed, are few commands he must instantly respond to.

Tip 2: Continue to Dedicate a Slot of Time Everyday to Your Doggie

"The only precaution to be taken is to keep control on the new baby so that her/his crying and behavior does not disturb the dog. I was apprehensive about subjecting mojo (our lab) to my new born son's presence as i did not want mojo to be bugged and fiddled with when he would sleep. Baby or no baby, mojo came first!!!! And it stays that way", says Pooja Rathee, on raising her kid and doggie together.

“The only precaution to be taken is to keep control on the new baby so that her/his crying behavior does not disturb the dog. I was apprehensive about subjecting Mojo (our lab) to my new born son’s presence as I did not want Mojo to be bugged and fiddled with when he would sleep. Baby or no baby, Mojo came first,” shares HUFT Facebook fan and mother Pooja Rathee, on raising her son and her lab Mojo together.

 

Your doggie has been your kid when you didn’t have your own, and now it would be outright unfair if you start ignoring him after having a baby! However busy the new member makes you, do try to find time for the other little companion. This part is particularly important if you want your pooch to not feel jealous of your kid. Especially after you return from the hospital, ensure keeping your hands free to caress and cuddle your pet when she jumps to greet you.

Lifestyle writer, Tanya Munshi, introduces her daughter, Anindita to Maggie

Tanya Munshi introduces her daughter Anindita to Maggie

Tip 3: Allow Your Pet to Observe the Baby from a Distance
Maintain a safe distance at all times. Also, see to it that your dog doesn’t get overtly excited around the baby. Gradually reduce the distance as he begins to get familiar with the infant.

Tip 4: Consider Getting a Muzzle for a Dog that Exhibits Aggression or Over-Excitedness
If you are uncertain about your dog’s affinity towards kids, muzzle-train him, and make him wear a muzzle when around the baby.

Tip 5: Give the Baby Some Doggie-Training Too

Mahi, Tanya's niece, with her gentle dog, Lisa

Mahi, Tanya’s niece, with her gentle dog, Lisa

If a dog can harm a child, even a child, in her naivety, can hurt a dog. Children can intrude into a dog’s private territory out of their drive to explore, which may irritate an otherwise calm dog. Teach your child not to bother the pet while she eats and sleeps, and to not poke her fingers into the latter’s eyes, mouth and ears.

Tip 6: Do Not Leave the Two Darlings Together By Themselves!
We’re sure you’d succeed in stirring a strong friendship between the two, but should you leave these two naïve creatures together unsupervised? Never! An animal will always remain an animal, and a child, well, is just a child, after all – they are both vulnerable, and must be attended to at all times!

HUFT facebook fan Anindita Adyaa candidly shared: “It’s simple. I would trust my dog with my life, but I would not trust my baby with my life!”

Have you raised children and doggies harmoniously? Do you feel pets are good for children? Post your opinions, anecdotes and photographs of your pet-child bonding!