If you don’t follow me on social media, you may not know that I am a grandma.
As a grandma, I’m learning an entirely new level of safety in my home that simply didn’t exist when my children were little!
Today there are locks on cabinets, toilets, paper rolls that won’t roll unless released, door knob safety covers, electrical outlet covers, safety gates at stairs, and safety straps on literally everything!
We didn’t even have motorized swings when my babies were babies–my swing was a hand crank style (ha, I’m really dating myself now!) Even though we didn’t have all the things that are available now, we did manage to keep our kids safe! We locked our poisonous chemicals, we locked our front doors, and we had playpens/cribs where we put our children in when we needed to take a shower or go to the bathroom.
Most importantly, we supervised our children.
For me, when I couldn’t keep my kids in my line of sight, I put them into their little playpen or their excersaucer–they couldn’t climb out, and they had nice little things in/on it to occupy them while unattended for a short period of time.
When you have babies and young kids around, it is important to create those same kinds of safe places for your dog to go when you cannot have a line of sight supervision between the dog and your babies or young children.
Just like my children had a playpen, they make similar pens for dogs that you can put up wherever you need to. Ex Pens are fantastic options for creating a safe space where you can pop the dog when you need to attend to the baby or anything else that demands your attention for a period of time.
Another option is a crate or kennel that you can put your dog into when you cannot be around to supervise your dog with the baby or young child. Be sure to put great bones, or favorite chew toys in the crate or kennel along with a comfy, snuggly bed. I also put a flat-sided pail in the crate for water as well.
Safe spaces keep your baby or toddler safe when you cannot appropriately supervise them together.
Baby and toddler dog bites happen most often from their own dog or a dog you all know well. Don’t put your dog in a situation where she might decide to have something to say with a baby or a toddler when you are not fully present in mind, body, and soul. It’s OK to say, “I just can’t watch right now.” That is what a safe space is all about. Use them when you need to. Then when you have a moment to catch your breath, when it’s time for your baby or toddler to go to their safe space (crib or bouncy seat) that will give you time to spend with the dog without any pressure.
Join Aly on Monday 9/26 to learn more winning strategies to keep dogs and kids safe together! We invite you to take a personally guided tour of her Pillars of Pack Leadership Academy–Kid & Dog Safety edition!!!