We adopted our first child aka our pup, Ellie, when she was only four months old. It was about a month into us just moving in together and me starting graduate school. So you can only imagine what kind of changes we went through. She was my gift from my husband and our first baby. She was our first big responsibility and wow did we learn a lot with her. When we first learned I was pregnant nine months into our married life and Ellie was over a year old we wanted to make sure to include her into the pregnancy as much as we could. She still slept in our bed, I still walked with her as my belly grew, and she loved napping right on it. We made sure she would be taken care of when I went into labor by our dearest friends and we picked her up as soon as we came back from the hospital. She was afraid when she heard cries from the bassinet. I still remember her running around our living room frantically in circles around the bassinet. We calmed her down and introduced her to the new addition to our family gently. She licked him and they have been best friends ever since, however, there was a time period that they fought like cats and dogs and that was an awfully hard time for all of us. My son was about twenty months hitting the curiosity stage and also the “let’s torture the dog” stage. We had to teach him to be gentle with her and only touch her with us but still we had our fears especially when he kept poking at her or grabbing her tail. We had to be the mediators and eventually decided to keep them separated by gates. It was so difficult because Ellie didn’t understand why she had to be separated from us at certain times. She is a very talkative dog and would express her disappointment very loudly. We kept introducing them daily to each other and teaching our toddler how to approach her. Finally he outgrew the torment stage a couple of months later and we all had a big sigh of relief.
10 Tips to help your toddler & pup to get along:
Make sure when your child starts to crawl that all dog food bowls are hidden because toddlers are curious and dog food may look tasty to them. Teaching them to respect your dog will also teach them respect to other animals. Lastly, things get really busy when you have both a dog and a toddler. Learn to balance life with both and set time as a family together. We did daily evening walks when weather was nice and fit in some hiking time on the weekends as a family. They both adjusted to each other and my little one couldn’t fall asleep without the dog on the bed next to him. They are inseparable now. Remember toddlers grow and mature and so do dogs. Just breathe, maintain your rules, and this too shall pass.
HAPPY NATIONAL PET DAY :)