The Dangers Of Owning A Dog When Living With An Infant
Owning a dog while you have young children can be a great experience. It’s a great way to introduce your children to animals and help them form bonds with four-legged animals. However, as seen in the news and media, in some cases, owning a dog with young children in the household can be dangerous. This is the case even with the most well-trained dogs, as many of them can act out of character on instinct, which can lead to injury and death.
For this reason, families must take the necessary precautions to ensure the safety of their young children and pets. While this is a touchy subject, remember, prevention and precaution are the best way to manage risk. So, it is a necessary subject for all families, even if you believe the following:
- My dog wouldn’t hurt anyone, especially me or my children.
- My dog breed is noted for its friendliness, so I am confident it wouldn’t hurt me or my family
At DBBC, we believe that no matter how good a pet is, it pays to be prepared. So, here is what you can do to practice responsible pet ownership to keep your loved ones safe.
Make sure your dog is up-to-date with vaccinations and check-ups
These can ensure that no parasites enter their systems, which can disgruntle pets and cause them to act out of character.
Not only this, but unvaccinated dogs can carry and spread diseases, including rabies and canine parvovirus, which can be extremely harmful to children. Additionally, a dog’s dirty fur, saliva and droppings can contain parasites and germs, which can cause severe illnesses in children if they are accidentally ingested.
Train your dog to understand basic commands and boundaries
Dogs can get overly excited, especially when a new member of the family is brought home or when a child is playing with them. They must know basic obedience commands such as sit, down and off. These can ensure that if a situation seems like it’s escalating, it can be quickly subdued.
Teach children about the dangers of dogs
Dogs aren’t meant to be scary creatures. But, their long claws and teeth can make them dangerous. Educating children about the dangers of dogs, including biting and scratching, can help them understand when their household pet needs some alone time. It’s also vital that children are taught not to pull or poke the dog and to move slowly around the animal. This is because even the gentlest of dogs can act out when provoked.
Injuries will occur more frequently in households with more than one dog, as competition between animals can cause fighting and increased aggression.
Protecting your family: The Must Do’s
There are many things you can do to protect your family. But, here are the most essential ones.
- Always supervise your child and dog when they are in the same room. Never leave them alone unsupervised.
- When needed, items such as the baby’s pacifiers, toys, and blankets should also be kept away to help avoid any potential accidents.
Taking these proactive steps can help reduce the risk of any potential accidents or incidents and help foster a lasting bond between the baby and their furry companion. With these precautions, a family can enjoy the joys of owning a pet and having an infant.
Help your child become comfortable with dogs
Finally, even if you don’t recognise the signs from your child, a dog living in a house with young children can be a source of fear, anxiety and stress for the child. This can be amplified if the dog is large or unknown. It may take a child some time to get used to a new pet, and parents should take measures to teach children how to interact with dogs, such as teaching them to allow the dog to sniff their hand as an introduction.
Having a dog living in a house with young children can be a positive and enjoyable experience if done safely. However, parents need to be aware of the potential dangers as dogs are animals and can react violently and with aggression.
Enjoy from the DBBC Team
Shyne Cavalli is an accomplished writer, Dog Breeder, and Animal welfare advocate. License and breeding registration holders: BIN: BIN0002583563378 – NCPI: 9002252 – DBBC: D8819 – AA: 93740. She has introduced the “SHM” her brand of puppies and nurtured and cared for them since 2015. To learn more, visit her website at www.dogbreedersbrisbane.com.au and www.malteseshihtzucrosspuppies.com.au. Interested in joining a Dog Breeders Club? Go to: www.dbbc.com.au