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Woof Wednesday: Storks, Babies & Separation Anxiety

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Baby & Dog

How do YOUR "human pups" get along with the dogs? (Image Copr. Sebastien Garnier)

Whether you’re an expectant parent or grandparent, a new baby can bring joy into your life. But what does a newborn mean for the animals you’ve lived with for years?

Dogs used to adults may not recognize babies as the same species. Newborns and toddlers sound scary, smell funny, and seem to evict pets from your lap because they divert a favorite human’s attention. Here are tips to help you persuade your dogs to welcome babies as part of their family. The latest Paw Nation article offers tips on how to encourage your dog to welcome Baby into the home.

How have you managed the fur-kids when you became pregnant? Did the dog act differently? What was his or her reaction when the baby came home? Was it love at first sight or did the dog drag his furry heels accepting the “interloper?”

I’m always amazed at the folks who share their lives with a wonderful canine companion for years and years–and then decide to “get rid of him” because of the baby! Did you know that infants and kids brought up with pets are LESS LIKELY to develop allergies to them? There are wonderful programs available to help like my colleague Jennifer Shryock’s Dogs & Storks (awesome I love it!) and the free pamphlet from American Humane called Pets Meet Baby.

Safety is always an issue, of course. Teaching children how to interact properly with dogs is as important as the fur-kid learning good kid-manners. You should teach puppy bite inhibition whether you have kids or not. These additional dog bite prevention tips can help you and your kids learn how to be safe around your own dogs and strange dogs.

Adopting a new friend?

Once your dog accepts the infant as a member of the family, a wonderful relationship can blossom. When its a young dog, the kids and pup can grow up together. But that means dogs that become very attached also can suffer when the child loses interest in the pet–or goes away to school. Yep, it’s back-to-school time and especially for puppies acquired over the summer, you may notice some separation behaviors from the little guy. After all, if for the first months of his life he had constant company and attention from the kids and they leave all day for school or–HORRORS!–move away to college, what’s a lonely dog to do? Here are some tips for dealing with separation anxiety and behaviors.

Are your dogs upset that school started? How does their behavior change? Do you have tips to share to help them feel better until the kids come home? Please share!

A great relationship with dogs can result in something like the trust and joy exhibited in this video. Enjoy!


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