Bringing a pet into your home is always an exciting prospect. From the initial browsing process to finding the best-suited pup for your home, through to signing your name on the dotted line, the entire process is truly thrilling for all parties involved.
While we can recognize that a great deal of planning goes into any plan when adopting a new dog, this is never truer than when adopting a dog and integrating them into your family home. Mainly when adopting a puppy and bringing them into a young family home, this could cause some logistical issues.
Naturally, you want to ensure that the dog is integrated into your family unit but that your young child also understands the importance of looking after another living thing. It undoubtedly appears like quite the task, but that is where we are here to assist!
Detailed below are some helpful tips to help you with this integration process. You can rest assured that your future efforts will pay off. Get yourself comfortable, budding pet parent, and read on for more!
The initial introduction between your new pet and your child should be done at a point in the process when the dog has become comfortable with another member of your household. As this would vary based on the dog’s temperament, it is challenging to estimate a timescale for this. It would depend on your own unique situation, and you should be able to distinguish when a dog is comfortable in your presence.
Body language displayed by your pooch, which would indicate that they are comfortable in your company, includes such things as the following:
- A soft, relaxed facial expression
- Tail wagging
- Rolling over for a belly rub
- Inviting you to play
Once your dog has displayed some of these and others in your company, nothing stops you from introducing them to your child/ren. Taking the final point about body language into account, having your child play with the dog is an ideal way of getting them accustomed to one another. This leads us to the next point.
Playing With Your Dog
The natural next stop following introductions would be initiating playtime, of course! Your child may be thoroughly ecstatic at the prospect of having someone in the house who they can play with to their heart’s content. However, some things should be done before getting to this stage to ensure that you are as prepared as you can be.
The first and most obvious thing that you would need to ensure you have is that of toys! Naturally, the toys that you would need and which would be appropriate for your dog would depend on their age. If they are young pups, you would want toys that would contribute to their overall development while also making sure they have fun.
At the same time, if you have adopted an older dog, you would be better off selecting something more age-appropriate, taking into account aging joints and decreased mobility. Time for Paws can provide new pet parents like yourselves with all the toys you could dream of having and more. To browse the selection available and find something ideal for your new family member, head to www.timeforpaws.co.uk.
Teaching Your Child Boundaries
Another essential thing to note when introducing a four-legged friend to your family is that of teaching your child about boundaries. The last thing you want is for either your child or your dog to become hurt or distressed due to overstepping a boundary and causing annoyance. While we recognize that these things can often come about as a complete accident, to begin with, supervising your child with the dog is an ideal way of minimizing this becoming an issue.
Encouraging your child to offer your dog treats at various intervals and slowly increasing the level of contact between the two is recommended. What’s more, it is essential to note that most dogs do not enjoy being cuddled by children unless they have grown up together. This is something that should be remembered if you have adopted an elder dog into your household.
Meanwhile, that is not to say that you cannot introduce your dog and child to the point that they feel comfortable cuddling one another, and this is something that can be done eventually. It is certainly something that would be easier with older children, for they would have a better understanding of boundaries and how to respect them, but that is not to say it is impossible.
With a gradual and slow introduction from one to the other, you are sure to have a peaceful household for both parties in no time!
While these are but some of the things you could do when integrating a dog into your household this year, we hope that it has given you some idea of what you could try.