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Dogs and kids, part 2

posted August 20th, 2013 by
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Since I am nearing the end of pregnancy, I have babies on the brain. I recently wrote this response to an article advising couples who want kids to not get a dog.

I’m pretty sure the writer could use the help of Family Paws Parent Education, the parent organization of Dog & Storks and the Dog and Baby Connection.

According to its website, the group’s goal is “to increase the safety of children and the success of dogs in homes with children. We seek to decrease the number of dogs surrendered to shelters due to easily preventable behavioral problems and common conflicts.”

For anyone who has small children or is expecting, the site has some excellent resources for parents including a blog, webinars, and links to useful articles and websites.

Topics include preparing your dog for baby, dog and baby safety, dog and toddler safety,  tips for nursing moms, baby equipment and safety and more.

Preparation is definitely key for your pets when expecting. Our veterinarian gave us some great advice when we were expecting our first child that we are using again during this pregnancy:

• Before baby arrives, let your pets investigate all of the new baby equipment. Put a baby doll in the swing and start it up. Be sure to start establishing boundaries as well, for instance, no cats in the crib.

• When baby is born, bring home a blanket or clothing item for them to smell if possible. When bringing baby home, Dad should introduce baby after Mom greets all of the furry children empty handed.

• And once you are settled, try to include your animals as much as you can, give them a job. I started referring to my dogs as the Diaper Changing Committee, they would dutifully follow me to the nursery and stand guard every time. If only I could have taught them to actually change the diapers.

For more tips and information on integrating your furry children with your new human children, visit familypaws.com/.

- Lauren Cavagnolo, [email protected]