Can I Have a Dog Around a Newborn?
I’m writing this blog following a question from a commenter who came up with this statement: I have an adorable and sweet golden retriever who’s like a dear friend to me. But, now my husband is warning me that the dog cannot be around our newborn baby and I’m wondering if I have to get rid of him or is it safe to have a dog and a baby at the same time?
So, to sum up, the question I’m going to answer today is: Should dogs be allowed around newborn babies?
Honestly, it depends on lots of factors and each case is different. For instance, I know some parents who trusted their dogs enough to let them sleep beneath their babies’ cribs at night. I’ve even heard how a baby’s first word was the name of the family’s dog, not her mom or dad. But, I’ve also read a few news articles about dogs attacking young children and babies.
The point here is not about how much you trust your dog, but whether your baby will be safe with your dog.
Before Your Baby Is Born
The decision of whether to keep or not to keep your dog should be made way before your baby is born.
What Breed of Dog Do You Have?
Maybe some will think that I’m biased but I think that the breed of a dog plays a crucial role in determining whether you can trust your dog to be around your baby.
For example, you might have raised an American Pit Bull Terrier or a Rottweiler with love and tenderness, but these animals are naturally, inherently aggressive. All you need to do is to read the newspaper or a weekly magazine to know how dangerous these dogs can be.
Another point I want to make here is that a newborn baby is tiny and a dog doesn’t necessarily know its own weight or strength. So, what if, while playing, your dog rolls over and doesn’t even realize that the baby can’t handle it? In other words, if your dog screws up, it’s your baby’s life on the life. And, I hope you are wise enough to know that you cannot put your child’s life on the line just because you think your dog is cute or because he’s been with you for a very long time.
Are Your Dogs Trained?
Is it important to train a dog?
I’ve answered this question many times and I’ll repeat myself. Do you like ill-mannered children or sweet, well-behaved children? Do you prefer to be in the company of obnoxious adults or grateful and pleasant adults?
A dog is no different. Giving complete freedom to your dog and letting him do as he pleases is fine up until the point when your untrained pooch will become a nuisance and danger to you and all those around you. No matter how much you might trust your pooch, the truth is that dogs are animals and animals are unpredictable. And, no parent would want an unpredictable threat to be around their babies.
So, as a responsible owner, it is important to train your dog. The only way to make sure it does not bite your baby or create trouble is to help it grow into a “social” dog.
And, if you want to learn more about the best ways to train and discipline your dog, click here!
Has Your Dog attacked you or Any Member of Your Family?
Depending on the right set of circumstances, I’d say every dog is capable of biting its owners. Most cases, however, consist of dogs biting their owners in a playful way. For an adult, a little and playful bite on the knee or on the arm might be harmless, but the same cannot be said for a newborn baby.