Resources For families with dogs and babies!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday baby!!!

Is your dog celebrating too?

I can not believe it has been a complete year. Where does the time go. If you have been following our blog you know that this year has brought many new changes. Despite the fact that we have 3 older children...Kelsyann has humbled us as parents and provided us with new learning opportunities. Some of those opportunities have included our 4 dogs and 5 cats along with just adjusting to be the mother of a baby again. It has been an awesome and exhausting year! uld your dog be invited to the party

Every parent is excited about the big 1st bday. I think this should be a celebration for Mom most of all but....nothing is better then those cake covered faces of a one year old!

When planning your party please keep in mind that although you may feel your dog would like to be may not be really what is best for your dog or guests. Parties with lots of people, tons of noise and possibly toddlers milling around are not comfortable for even the most well adjusted dogs. Even I find myself exhausted after a very short time. When planning for your big birthday bash please consider alternatives for your dog/s. Here are some suggestions:

1. Offer them a quiet place to relax while the party is in full swing. Possibly with a fan or white noise on to keep things calm.

2. Provide a special yummy treat that will last like a frozen kong or other food dispensing toy to help your dog pass the time and enjoy himself.

3, Put a photo of your dog on the outside of the door to the room that he is in. Have a stop sign image and a note that says something like "Thanks for letting me nap alone." or something for parents and kids to see that indicates that door must stay closed. Also you can put a lock on the door that is only available to adults to ensure your dog will be left alone. This is essential if your dog has any history of undesirable behaviors or discomfort around new people or children. Set your dog up for success.

4. If your dog is quite social and you do choose to bring your dog out for a short visit and introduction please keep him on a leash and be very aware of his signals and body language. Respecting what your dog is communicating is the key to preventing unfortunate situations. Please limit the time your dog is included in crowded gatherings as they do tire easily and we all know what crowded kid parties can be like. TYLENOL ANYONE? LOL

Many people feel badly about excluding their dog during a big family event. Here are just a few reasons why I advise you to do so:

1. Your dog is not familiar with all of the visitors and this creates excitment and possibly stress for your dog.

2. You are distracted and unable to supervise all interactions especially with visiting children and this sets up your dog for a potentially uncomfortable situation where they need to handle things themselves.

3. You do not know how the visitors feel about dogs and or how they interact with them. What if they hug and kiss their family dog? Will they try this on your dog? Unless you are completely available to supervise all interaction it is best your dog is allowed alone time with a treat to enjoy.

4. Food may be a part of the party and your dog may not like to share with the visiting toddler. Dogs that do not guard their food normally may choose to do so with unfamiliar children. This can be very dangerous.

5. Toddlers in general move and act in unpredictable ways. Your dog may be familiar with your baby BUT that does not mean they will be ok with all babies and toddlers. The bond that has been allowed to develop with your child and dog is based on familiarity and daily expossure. This does not hold true for unfamiliar children.

6. Parties often have games and noise makers that can really make them uncomfortable.

I hope you find this helpful as you plan for the BIG DAY. Parties are fun but they are for people and your dog will do better enjoying a quiet afternoon with a yummy treat and quiet.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Thank you

I appreciate all comments and feedback about our posts. The family dog video with the sheltie certainly got it's share! :) It is amazing how the same video can be viewed and perceived so differently. It is also great to have so many perspectives. My interpretation was connected to the families I hear from who have dogs who nip and "herd" their young children around. There are many breeds associated with this type of call and it is often due to a lack of intervention and behaviors escalating over a period of time. I would introduce games that are dog motivating and "kid friendly." I believe this dog is playing in a way that easily could go wrong for the baby. Thanks for your comments and keep them coming!