But what do you do if your child is a helpless baby who doesn’t know not to pull a dog’s tail? Many parents face this problem when they are expecting a child into a household that already has a “first child” – the family dog.
Even though a couple may have not had experience with a dog bite before, some parents worry that the lifestyle change could change a dog’s attitude, making him more likely to bite. Which in turn begs the question on whether or not to keep the beloved pet or find a new, caring home for it.
A recent article in The Wall Street Journal outlined ways that new parents can keep their babies safe while still keeping Fido. Four weeks before the baby is due, start pushing around a doll in a stroller, or walking the dog at the same time as walking the stroller. Treat the doll as you would a child, to teach the dog that a baby is not a toy meant to bite. Spraying the dog’s toys with almond oil will also help the dog differentiate his own toys from the baby’s.
The Journal also reports that pulling on the dog’s ears and tail will also prepare him for little hands that do not know better. Ignore the dog and tell him “No!” more often to things that he will no longer be able to do after the baby arrives. Introduce the dog to a cage or crate that can help during times that a new mom needs time alone with the baby, without the interruption of a dog.
Our Toledo, Ohio dog bite attorneys understand that out of the 4.7 million people that suffer dog bites each year, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association, majority of them are children. Do everything you can to protect your kids against dog bites, especially helpless babies, which means teaching your kids and your dog.