This video features a Siberian Husky which is gently playing with an seven-month old baby. The two are just so adorable!
But are babies safe with dogs? It really depends. Most dogs happily welcome new additions to the family but strict precautions must still be taken to ensure that the introduction goes as smoothly as possible. There are a lot of horror stories when it comes to new babies and dogs. Each year dogs bite an estimated 4.5 million people, and children are by far the most common victims. Seventy percent of fatal dog attacks involve children.
I’m sure you’re thinking that your dog is not capable of doing such things but it is better to be safe than sorry. If you are about to bring a baby home, here are some tips:
1. Make sure that your dog is already well-trained. You may wish to take your dog to training and socializing classes because it is vital that your dog consistently responds to all cues for desired behavior when a baby is in the house.
2. Many dogs experience anxiety when their lifestyles are drastically altered. When you bring your baby home, chances are your dog won’t be given much attention and this will cause your pooch to feel jealous. Jealousy can lead to aggression. Start paying less attention to your dog weeks before the expected day. I don’t mean totally ignore the dog; continue to play and pet it as usual but not excessively.
3. Babies are loud, they smell different and they move in strange ways. For dogs who haven’t been around them before, babies are strange creatures. It’s a good idea to introduce your dog to as many baby-like sights, sounds, smells and movements so that some aspects of the baby become familiar.
4. No matter how perfect your dog is, never leave it alone with children. Most dog attacks occur when it is alone with the child. Things could still go wrong even if you are present but at least you’ll be there to recognize the signs and prevent a potential tragedy.