Before Baby Is Born:
1. Take your dog to the vet for a complete examination. Ask you vet to look for any potentially painful areas. Senior dogs may have some problematic areas such as; sore mouths due to decaying teeth and gums, sore joints due to arthritis or other joint afflictions. Senior dogs may also be going blind or deaf. These disabilities may cause them to startle around young children. Please be aware of your dog’s physical limitations.
2. Have a back-up plan if your dog is not child/baby friendly. Be responsible; find a good home. Be honest about your dog’s limitations. If you have to re-home the dog remember it will encounter children outside the new home.
NOTE** Not all dogs can be taught to be safe around children. You have both a legal and moral obligation to your children and to the general public to make your dog safe. You also have a moral obligation to your dog to make his life as stress free as possible.
1. Never tie your dog to a stroller.
2. Secure the baby car seat in the car (middle of the back seat). Your dog can be secured in the front seat with a dog seat belt but be aware that cars with passenger side air bags may be fatal to a dog in the event of an accident. If you drive an SUV or station wagon then the dog can be safe behind a gate in the very back of the vehicle.
3. Familiarize the dog to being petted with your feet. Your feet may be the only part of your body that is convenient to use for stroking the dog while you are holding your baby.
4. Only pay extra attention to your dog when you have children near you or your baby on your lap.
5. Enlist a neighbor or relative to start walking and playing with your dog. Ensure they are aware of all your dog’s personality quirks and your training methods. (and that they employ the same methods!!)