Most any baby, and most any set of parents with a baby, might be scared to have the baby in the same room with a big dog — in this case, a full-grown husky. But not this baby, named Garret. When you see how the little guy engages this husky in what must be a meaningful conversation about, well, something, you’ll quickly understand why this little video went viral, with more than 1.6 million YouTube views.
Of course, handled improperly, a relationship between a dog and a baby can go wrong. But there is no reason for that to happen. Experts say that there are certain, specific steps dog owners who are also new parents should take to safely “introduce” the dog to the newest member of the household, your baby.
If these steps are performed correctly, dog and baby should get off to a great start and be well on their way to a safe and rewarding relationship for years to come.
Perhaps the most important of those steps, before showing the new baby to the dog, is to establish the baby’s scent. This can be done by letting the dog sniff a blanket in which the baby has been swaddled.
But — and this is extremely important — do not let the dog play with the blanket. Don’t hand it over or play a game of tug-of-war. Allow the dog to sniff the blanket, establishing the baby’s scent, but only as long as you, the parent, are in total control of the blanket.
This step sends the dog a clear message: The baby is friendly and not a threat — but that the baby belongs to you, not the dog.
Obviously, for any any parent, a new baby is always going to be top priority. But be careful not to neglect your dog. Include your dog in family activities, and be sure to pay the dog as much attention as possible. This way, the dog will not feel isolated or threatened by the new member of the household.
Not only will your baby have a playmate — like Garrett and Phoenix the Husky in this video — but studies have shown that babies who are around a dog tend to be healthier and more resistant to colds and ear infections.