Are you a parent to both a toddler and a dog? Naturally, you might have thought that your biggest hurdle was over when your fur baby accepted your real baby as part of the family. Probably one of the sweetest things in the world is seeing your kid romping around the yard with your furry baby or snuggling next to each other. But things aren’t a rosy picture all the time. As your baby turns into a toddler and gains sudden mobility, the relationship between them (the baby and the dog) might change. As toddlers have the tendency to pull tails and ears, play with the dog’s toys, or grab the fur, it is necessary for you to keep your toddler safe from the dog’s aggression and vice versa. Sometimes a dog’s aggression toward toddlers can require instant professional guidance. You cannot afford any parenting error when it comes to even the slightest aggression, because it can be devastating for a little child to get bitten by a dog even in the mildest way. This is where professionals like H.K. Dog Training in Fort Myers can help. Their goal is to provide safety strategies for both the dog and the toddler in realistic ways by keeping the safety and sanity of your family in mind.
Tips for Toddlers and Dogs to Co-exist Peacefully:
Teach Your Toddler To Interact Appropriately With All Dogs
This is where it all starts. Teach your baby as early as possible to check in with you if he or she is allowed to interact with a random dog at a park. It should be followed by you checking in with the dog’s owner if it is okay for the little one to do so. You should demonstrate to the little one how to be gentle with the dog. For instance, teach how you should approach a dog from the side or how one should never pull or grab a dog. Always remember that kids imitate behavior from elders. This way you can teach your toddler how to behave with your own dog- like never going into the dog’s crate or leaving him alone during meal times.
Supervise All Kinds Of Interactions
It is important to supervise all interactions between the dog and the toddler to co-exist peacefully. Even if your dog is a calm one, sometimes the unpredictable behavior of your toddler can catch him off guard. Although the dog might not act aggressively at all times, your toddler can hurt themselves by tripping and falling. Hence you should make sure that they have a positive experience of co-existing with strict supervision.
Put Up Baby Gates
The easiest way to protect a child from your dog when you are not around is to put up baby gates to keep them separate. Baby gates can be put up across doorways to hallways so that your toddler and the dog can see each other without interference. These gates can keep both of them safe when you are doing other things around the house.
Practice Handling Areas Of Your Dog
The way your toddler interacts with your dog will always be different than that of an adult. Hence you should introduce new ways of being handled to your dog before your toddler gains mobility. Touch areas that your dog is not used to like their ears, legs, paws, and tail, and give him positive reinforcement with praises and treats. This way your dog will be more comfortable and non-reactive when your toddler touches him in those areas.
Give Space To Your Dog
Always make sure that your dog has a safe space in the house where it can escape. Even the most patient dogs in the world will need some time away from an active toddler and that space should be off-limits to your toddler. You can use a crate for your dog and make it a toddler-free zone. Here your dog can relax, play with its toys, and have a relaxing downtime without getting interrupted. You can also use baby gates to block off this area so that the visual divide can teach your toddler that this area is off-limits.
Being a parent, it can be the most important thing for you to ensure that your dog and your toddler co-exist peacefully. However, sometimes it is easier said than done. The above-mentioned realistic strategies can help in many ways so that your toddler with his or her limited mobility can interact safely with their fur sibling. Building this beautiful relationship can mean training both your babies to foster a safe and secure family environment. These tips will also help you to manage your life better with an energetic dog and a hyperactive toddler. It is also advisable to seek professional guidance if you are concerned about the safety of your dog or baby.