A lot of us have pets at home, mostly dogs and cats. Well, yes, some have other types of pets like snakes and lizards, but those pets are not as popular. Maybe it’s because they’re not that cute, but of course, that’s my opinion. So, this time around, we’ll talk about dogs and babies.

A lot of dog owners have babies too. And if you are a dog lover, there’s no doubt about it that you trust your furbaby enough to have them around your children. But, is that good or bad?

Well, this will depend on the particular dog, the child, and the situation at hand.

Should I Let My Baby Play With Our Dog?

You will know if your furbaby is tolerant of children. Well trained and well-behaved dogs are usually patient with babies and kids, so they are typically harmless.

Since babies are also typically harmless, there’s very little chance that they can exhaust a dog’s patience to make them aggressive. Now, it’s a bit different with older kids as they can be mean to pets without intending to.

Another factor to consider is the situation itself. Animals are like people, and there are times when they are not in the mood to play games or to socialize with people, even children and the pet owners themselves. And at these times, it is only right to respect their feelings and let them be. Otherwise, they can be a bit aggressive.

Are There Any Triggers I Should be Aware Of?

Some situations that particularly need parental guidance include feeding time and sleeping time. Sleeping animals can get startled when they are suddenly awakened, which can lead to biting and scratching incidences.

Some dogs can be aggressive when eating, as well. So take precautionary measures around your pets if they are eating, and you have children playing around. This holds true even for amicable and mild-mannered dogs. It simply is better to be safe than sorry as this is a natural instinct for them.

Note that both children and dogs should be trained to respect one another. The earlier you can start with the training, the better.

How Can I Train My Dog and Baby to Get Along?

First of all, introduce your dog to your baby correctly to make sure that they know that they belong to the same family. It is recommended to do this slowly. For instance, when the baby is born, bring an item from the hospital with the baby’s scent and have the dog sniff from a distance, so it is clear that this item is delicate and needs respect. 

When its time to bring the baby from the hospital for the first time, take the dog in a long walk, and bring them back home to meet the baby when he is tired. Have the dog sniff the baby from a distance maintaining a calm state. Later on, try bringing them closer together. You can do this several times, so the dog understands that this is a new member of the family that requires respect.

When we are talking about older children, if you catch your dog showing aggressiveness or playing rough, let the dog know that this behavior is not accepted and separate them.

It’s the same thing with children. They should be taught early on to be gentle with your dogs. They shouldn’t hit them, bite them, yell at them, or be mean to them.

Related: Better ways on Teaching your Kids How to Apologize

Really, it all depends on the parents on how they train their dogs, babies and kids when it comes to having a safe environment at home.

Why Can’t We All Get Along?

If you love your dogs and children, you would want them all to get along, don’t you? And this is possible if you raise and train them right. It is 100% on you, and if you don’t trust you can handle it, it could be a good idea to get professional help with training.

It is also highly recommended that pets and little children are not left alone as you wouldn’t be there to handle the situation if something happens. Remember, there’s such a thing as animal instinct, and they will defend themselves if they feel threatened. We don’t want to put our children’s safety in jeopardy. The more you teach the child not to put the dog in distress, the less you’ll need to worry about this. 

I’m sure a lot of us would agree that family life can be a bit boring without pets. Dogs complete the family, and it’s not just the same without them, so they are 100% worth the extra work.

So, can babies play with dogs? Most definitely, yes! Just be prepared to be a pack leader and enjoy the ride.