Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Dogs and Baby Equipment

A baby in a mechanical swing was killed by the family dog in New Orleans in 2005. The coroner suggested that the movement of the baby swing may have triggered a predatory response in the dog. A subsequent fatality in 2008 underscores the need for caution with moving baby equipment, and of course the need for constant supervision of dogs and babies.

Jennifer Shryock of Family Paws gives this advice to expectant parents with respect to baby swings...

It is best to introduce baby swings and all baby equipment to the family dog prior to the arrival of the baby. Baby swings have all sorts of gadgets these days! They vibrate, make music and even rotate. It is important to know your dog's individual sensitivities and prepare him well ahead of time. Some points to consider with baby swings:

1. Once in motion some dogs find the natural desire to chase hard to control around baby swings.

2. The noise of a vibration device in the swing can make an irritating humming noise for some dogs.

3. Spinning objects that are meant to be visually stimulating to an infant may be enticing to a dog to catch.

4. Noises of the music may be irritating to some dogs sensitive ears.

It is important that family dogs learn how to behave calmly around all baby equipment prior to its use with an infant. Practice before your baby is home with a doll in the swing. Teach your dog how you want him to behave and reward positive and appropriate behavior. As always it is NEVER safe to leave a baby and dog unsupervised for any reason at any time. Find out more

This and other advice from Jen, a leading expert in the area of baby safety around dogs, is presented for parents and dog professionals alike in a DVD that is available from Family Paws.

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