Life is hectic when you are meeting the needs of a newborn. Grabbing a moment when your arms are free is precious. I know this first hand.
That said, it is so important for families to have a set plan of where the baby will be and where the dog will go when Mom/Dad ( or any caretaker) needs a potty break or has to l
eave for “just a second.”
In our program
we encourage families to PLAN for these moments. Role play and go through the steps and practice ahead of time for the “what ifs” that will come up. ex:
What if the phone rings and the baby is having tummy time?Where is the dog, where should the dog be?
What if there is a delivery at your door when the baby is in the seing?
Where is the dog? Where should the dog be?
What will you do when you need to use the bathroom?
Where is the dog? where should the dog be?
And so on. Planning ahead for these “moments” makes a HUGE difference when it comes to newborn safety in homes with dogs. It is critical to remember that our dogs are NOT familiar with our newborn and they
(along with us) need time to understand and gain familiarity with this new being. At NO time is it safe to leave for just a second. You must be sure that your dog never has access to the baby when an adult is not paying their FULL attention. Plan, prepare and prevent!
In both of the photos the dogs are secured with something to enjoy. Dogs can enjoy their crate for short periods of time and emergencies at any age! Keep it around and reward your dog with a busy buddy or kong toy with yummy goodies. The dog in the bottom photo is enjoying a food filled toy while secured by a tether. He is comfy and able to be with his family but not underfoot or roaming freely at this time. Having many options for securing your dog/s gives them a change in environment. Be sure to schedule times for games and fun with your dog throughout your baby routines. Including your dog with your constant supervision is the best way to help he and your baby begin to become familiar with one another. Setting up a plan and practicing ahead of time by familiarizing your dog to crating, gating and being closed in a room for short periods of time will make these moments alot smoother for everyone.