My kids have had dogs around them since the very first moment they came home from hospital. Here, in my latest piece for Fifi & Friends, I've just shared a couple of tips if you're thinking about getting a pet, or you're expecting a baby and already have pets at home...
Read the piece here (Fifi & Friends) or below:
My two children have had dogs in their lives from day dot. As time has passed, it’s become so clear to see what the dogs have taught them both over time. They are loving and kind around all creatures and they know to be respectful. They are playful, but they are gentle all at the same time. They know boundaries and they know when to let sleeping dogs lie (quite literally). And that’s the beautiful simplicity of animals; without wanting much (except the embarrassment of having to pick up their poo in public) or even knowing that they are doing it, they help nurture some of life’s most important values in children: kindness, loyalty and tolerance.
If you’re planning for a fur baby soon but are a little anxious, with some planning you needn’t delay the multitude of lessons that they can teach your children:
- If you’re adopting, follow the shelter’s recommendations for animals that are suitable with children, and,
- If using a breeder, research breeds that are known to be good with kids (not all dogs are recommended to be around small kids, so this part is really important).
- Be sure that any training focuses on socialising too; whether that’s with fellow animals, or other adults or young children, it will help your pet to acclimatise to a busy family life.
If, on the other hand, you’re already a fur mummy/daddy, and you’re bringing your real baby home for the first time, you’ll know your pet better than anyone. But one tip I’ve used that has worked a charm, is to bring some of your baby’s worn clothes and dirty nappy (I know… it’s worth it though!) home a day or so ahead of mother and baby, so pets can become familiar with the (rather pungent) smells that are about to be added to their growing family.