Preparing Your Dog for Baby

Keeping the Peace Between Dog and Baby

Yes, your babies (furry and not!) can live happily ever after. Try these pointers from Heidi Ganahl and Dacia Henshaw, of Camp Bow Wow, in Boulder, Colorado.

Zone Out Install safety gates to designate some rooms as off-limits to your pooch. This way, Baby can perfect her rolling and crawling in peace.

Stock Up on Playthings If your pup has his own stuff, he's less likely to chew on any cute baby toys you received as gifts.

Avoid Food Fights Keep your dog's bowls on the counter when it's not mealtime. Once your child is mobile, she can create a mess of sloshed water (which also poses a drowning risk) or may sample the kibble (choking hazard). Plus, some dogs get territorial around chow.

Teach Your Baby to Be Gentle As your tot begins exploring with her hands, she might grab Fido's fur. Show her how to pet nicely. She'll mimic Mommy -- and your hound will thank you.

Always Supervise Never, ever leave your child alone with your pet. Infant behavior (squealing, a quick maneuver) could unexpectedly irritate him. And watch for pacing or unusual eye contact, which could indicate your dog isn't comfortable with the baby.

-- Molly Collins

Originally published in the September 2012 issue of American Baby magazine.

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