Tips & Tricks Pets & Kids

As many of you know, we recently welcomed our second child into our home. This has been wonderful and a big adjustment for our fur babies. I thought I would share some of the things we taught our dogs that have helped to smooth this transition for our family.

Essential Commands for Pet and Baby Safety

“Leave it”: This is an incredibly helpful command when your pooch is insistent on investigating that diaper or toy or toddler’s bowl of food that you would really rather they left alone. A surprising number of dogs will eat diapers, and a sick dog is not something you want added to your busy day.

“Back”: This teaches your dog to respect the space around your baby. It is important that dogs know that they are below your kids in the family hierarchy. Your toddler walking around with a cracker in hand is a very tempting thing for dogs, but if they reliably know the “back” command, it helps avoid snatching snacks and crying kids. It is also very helpful when you have your hands full and need your dog to get out from under your feet.

“Wait”: Making dogs wait for you (and your kids) to go through a door or up/down stairs also enforces the family hierarchy and keeps your dog from tripping you on stairs.

“In your kennel” or ” On the carpet”: Before you know it your baby will be in a highchair and food will be everywhere. Dogs naturally want a front row seat for this, but it encourages kids to throw more food and can pack the pounds onto your pup. Train your dog to stay in a specific place while meals are happening. In our house, this is the living room carpet adjacent to the kitchen. It gives them a definite place they know they are meant to stay until they are called to help with cleanup.

Additional Tips for a Smooth Transition

A few other tidbits that will help your dog transition well is to vary your feeding and walking routine well in advance of baby arriving. Your dog is going to have to learn that dinner isn’t coming precisely when the clock hits 6 o’clock and they will, in fact, live through this.

Also, make sure you have some soft rubber toys for them to play with, especially those that you can fill with kibble (ex. kong genius or busy buddy). These have been indispensable in our house for keeping the dogs entertained.


Having a baby is a huge change for you and your pets, but a little prep work goes a long way in keeping everyone happy!

Written by Dr. Hayley Biederbeck