What you should know about dogs if you have a child at home

A lot of dogs are surrendered to shelters when a family has a baby or when a puppy is bought for a child. Owners of a four-legged animal are afraid that the animal will injure the baby or simply not have enough time to feed it. It is therefore very important to spend a lot of time thinking about whether your pet will get enough time and attention before you buy it. The breed of the puppy is also very important. Small or large If you have a young child at home and are planning to get a puppy, you should choose the breed very carefully. Most of the time, young parents think that a small puppy will be a great companion for their child and that the two of them will have fun playing and running around. A small breed is also chosen because it’s less of a hassle: it doesn’t need to be walked for three hours a day, it doesn’t take up too much space in the apartment, etc. However, it is the small puppies that can cause the most trouble for parents, as they are usually scared of children, feel insecure around them, and generally do not want to be their child’s friend. Long or short hair Some dog breeds, such as Schnauzers, terriers and poodles, only look good if their coat is groomed every few months. However, this is an extra worry that families with children do not always have time for. Grooming a shorthaired dog’s coat is much simpler and does not require a lot of effort to keep the dog clean and looking nice. Advantages of a dog Growing up with a dog gives your child the opportunity to see the behaviour and habits of animals from an early age – invaluable lessons in nature. Of course, when a child sees his or her parents feeding, bathing and walking the dog, he or she learns responsibility for the animal. Having a dog in the house makes a child grow up in a less sterile environment and at the same time more resistant to environmental influences, because perhaps nothing is as harmful to a young child as a sterile environment. So, if the dog is given deworming medication regularly, the child can play and sleep with it safely. For an only child, a dog can help to alleviate loneliness, as the puppy interacts with his four-legged friend as an equal. Most of the time, the child prefers to go outdoors because walking the dog is not boring. Minuses Often, young parents overestimate their resources and get a small puppy when they have a baby of several months. A baby needs a lot of attention in the first few months of life, and a puppy needs just as much, so sometimes the thought of giving a puppy to someone really does cross your mind. If you already have a puppy and there is a baby in the house, try to share responsibilities with your husband or other family members so that there is enough time for both baby and pet. Sometimes you need to keep the dog away from the child, because if the dog is constantly growled at and swatted, it will start to hide from the puppy and won’t listen to it. A four-legged animal that has been “tormented” by a child may start destroying the house or urinating and defecating in the house as a way of relieving stress. It is therefore very important to teach your child from an early age that a dog is not a toy. The baby needs to be shown that the animal feels pain, is tired and wants to lie down quietly in its bed, which should be out of the reach of the baby. Inexperienced dog owners sometimes fail to notice that a child is overexerting his or her four-legged companion, and the dog is already showing signs of stress. An upset dog can even bite a child. Therefore, you should never leave a small child and a dog alone – you must observe how the dog behaves with the child and the child with the dog. And to make it clear to the dog from the start that the child is above him.