September 18, 2017

How to Raise Dogs and Kids Together

Before we had Adalyn, Jaxen and Ava, our mini dachshunds, were our babies. They were and are everything to us. I remember being so nervous about how the dogs would like the new baby. When we came home from the hospital for the first time. The dogs were jumping up like crazy to meet Adalyn but had a bit of a rocky start. Jaxen is the scared dog- he is pretty much scared of his own shadow. Ava is mean to kids and grows when they are around. This has made it difficult at times raising them all together. 

We never wanted to have to get rid of our dogs so we have done things to make it work for the kids and the dogs. Now, we have two kids and Ava is still funny with Adalyn so we pretty much keep them apart but Jaxen is much better with Adalyn. Both dogs are pretty nice to Oliver right now- Jaxen loves to give him 10,000 kisses right on the mouth of course.

Adalyn's favorite thing to do with the dogs is walk them and give them dog treats (especially Milo's Kitchen home-style dog treats).

Here are some of the things that we have done to raise our kids and dogs together:

1. Right from the beginning, have the dogs smell the baby/kid and slowly get used to them

When we were in the hospital after having Adalyn, I had my parents bring a blanket that Adalyn had been swaddled in and have the dogs smell it. When we got home from the hospital, they got to meet Adalyn right away and we of course kept her safe at a distance but let the dogs smell her. I think it was a shock for them to have a child who cries and needs our attention coming into the family.

2. Have the kid walk the dog starting at about age 2

Our dogs are small so starting when Adalyn turned 2, we had her walk them. They do not pull too much and she can handle them. In fact, it's pretty cute! She makes sure that they stay on the sidewalk and not the grass and the better not dawdle around because she keeps them in line. I believe that this helps the dogs know that Adalyn is in charge of them and not the other way around like they want to believe.

3. Have the kid give the dogs treats

This is something that we started really young with Adalyn and the dogs- maybe even less than age 1. After a walk or something, we have Adalyn give the dogs a treat. They love their treats and I have her tell them to sit and Ava can shake hands. While Ava is the mean one to Adalyn, she will actually shake her hand without growling so it is progress- the girl will do anything for food I suppose.

We love Milo's Kitchen home-style dog treats because the dogs love them and they are made with quality ingredients- real chicken, beef, duck or sweet potato is the number one ingredient. I found these at my local Meijer. They are free of artificial colors and flavors and are made in the USA. They are easy for Adalyn to feed to the dogs and the dogs go crazy for them. I like that they are not made with a bunch of fillers but mainly with meat.

Take advantage of this mPerks offer of 30% off Milo’s Kitchen home-style dog treats now through 10/7 (while supplies last) before you head into Meijer today!

4. Make family snuggle time- dogs included!

We love cuddling up on the couch together and watching a movie. We often include the dogs in this and have them come sit right next to us. The dogs prefer to be closer to the adults than the kids but I think that it helps them to feel more comfortable with the kids when we are there.

5. Have the child feed the dog their meals

I don't know about your dogs but my dogs LOVE to eat. Dinner is at 5 PM sharp. Not 5:01 and definitely not at 5:30. Miss Ava Jones lets us know politely by barking, crying, scratching at the cupboards, etc. that it is dinner time and we better give it to her right now! Starting when Adalyn was about 2 1/2, we have her feed the dogs. I think that this makes them like her more since she is giving them their favorite thing: food! It also helps to teach the kids responsibility and motor skills by using the measuring cup to measure food.

There you have it! These are my best tips for raising dogs and kids together. It has not always been easy having the dogs and kids together but we were determined to make it work and are at a really good spot with it now.

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and The J.M. Smucker Company, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #miloskitchen

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