Safety Guidelines for your baby & dog from a Dublin Vet

Palmerstown Veterinary Hospital in Dublin welcomes families that are planning to get a new dog/pup for the family. We are sure you will have many questions before getting your new addition and we would be very happy to arrange a free consultation with one of our vets or nurses and sit down with you and go through your queries and answer any questions you may have.


We have all heard the stories on television and in the papers about dogs attacking children when left unsupervised. Here are a few tips to help keep them both safe from each other.

Anyone who has had to introduce a new baby to the family dog has probably gone through steps such as playing baby sounds and bringing home a blanket from the hospital for the dog to sniff a however, it’s not the same as physically having a child & a dog together so always remember the following:

  • Children & dogs should never ever be left unattended no matter how well behaved they are.
  • If you are getting a dog for the children, the children must be old enough and strong enough to manage it. Think very carefully about the dog you choose, you want to have this dog for its entire lifetime. So do your research!
  • Teach your children that the dog is not a toy. Small children and puppies do not know how to behave around each other, therefore they need to be taught how to play safely with each other. The children might pull the puppies tail and in return the puppy might nip at the child.
  • It may be helpful to teach the children some responsibility for the dog by getting the children to carry out the daily ‘poop-scoop’.
  • Visiting children must be supervised at all times too. Your dog may not tolerate unwanted attention from children it is unfamiliar with.
  • Teach your child how to pet a dog. Dogs should only be stroked from collar to tail. Do not allow children to pet an unknown dog. Dogs don’t necessarily like to be petted on the head – this can make them feel worried.
  • Learn to ‘Speak Dog’ – teach your children how to interpret your dogs facial/body expressions.
  • Children should also be taught not to scream, wave arms and run around wildly with dogs as this may incite the dog to jump up and bite. See the ‘Be Like a Tree’ picture below.
  • Education is the key for a successful, long and happy relationship between dogs and children.


If you have any queries about your dog please do not hesitate to contact our Anicare branches in Palmerstown, Blanchardstown, Glasnevin, Clontarf and Santry and we can advise you.


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