Going for a stroll with your pup and baby can be a great way to relax and get some much needed fresh air and exercise. Before you head out here are some tips to help make your trip a success!
1. Waist leash systems work well for stroller walks. They keep the dog close to you and allow you more control.
2. Never attach a leash to a stroller! This can be dangerous for the dog and possibly the baby if the dog is large and sees something of interest.
3. Know your dog. Will they practice undesirable behavior on your walk? Guarding, reacting to dogs, wanting to chase joggers, cars, bikers etc. If so then this may not be a good option and walking your dog without the stroller may be a better option. Stroller walks should be relaxing for all.
4. Have a plan. What if the baby is fussy or needs a diaper change? How will you handle your dog? What if your dog needs a potty break? How will you clean up after him?
5. What if a loose dog approaches you? What will you do? Have a plan.
6. Practicing ahead of time with some weight in the stroler before baby arrives can also make this easier for you and your pup.
7. Use a long handled spoon with peanut butter or cream cheese to reinforce your dog’s position where you want them. For small dogs I use a yard stick or LONG target stick. For Large dogs I might use a food tube.
I loved the idea of walking my dog with the stroller and our first walk was great. We kept it short and sweet. Then I expanded over time to longer walks and my daughter really objected. I soon found myself carrying the baby with the dog attached at my waist while pushing the stroller a mile back home. This no longer was relaxing and we had to make changes. We took short walks with the dog and longer walks without. We only walked with our very calm and non reactive dog. The other dogs enjoyed other activities at home or in the yard. Do what works for you and your individual dogs and family. Most of all be safe and have fun!