Pretty soon your dog will discover just how rewarding having this new family member around can be.
All babies enjoy throwing their food to see what happens, but your baby gets an added benefit:
The entertainment of watching your dog beg, jump, and dive for tasty morsels. In fact, your baby may enjoy offering food directly to your dog, making it even harder to discourage this kind of thievery.
So what can you do to keep baby’s mealtime under control?
Know your dog. Is he the type to sneak a treat from the kitchen table? Does she get possessive over particularly delectable snacks?
Recognizing the issues you may confront before the first feeding can help prepare you for that first meal.
Claim the high chair. Set clear rules, boundaries, and limitations from day one. Bring it out before you’re even considering feeding your baby anything besides breast milk and formula, and let your dog know who owns it. Then take things up a notch by adding some food to the tray.
Get help. It can be hard to keep track of an unruly dog and an unruly baby at the same time.
Even if you don’t expect to have any issues with your dog, plan for the first meal to be at a time when there’s someone else at home, so one of you can focus on correcting the dog and one of you can focus on the baby’s needs.
Beware of dangerous human foods. Most of the food that you will be feeding your baby at this stage will be mild on the stomach.
In fact, some veterinarians even recommend feeding baby food to a dog with a troubled tummy. But that doesn’t mean that all food you feed to your baby is safe for your dog.
For example, avocado is a great treat for a baby — but potentially dangerous for your pup and any sudden shift in diet can wreak havoc on a dog’s tummy.
Keep a list of foods to beware of near the fridge as a reminder, and talk to your veterinarian about any concerns you have.
Put the dog away. If you have any fears about your baby being hurt by an overexcited or possessive pup, make dinner a time when the dog goes away for a while but be aware that this issue won’t go away over time.
Eventually, your baby will grow into a toddler who will want to walk and snack. Consider hiring a professional to work through the issue.