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I cannot imagine my and my family’s life without our dogs. Our dogs bring us so much joy, additional love, and fun. Honestly, my dogs have helped to raise my kids.

When you are raising both kids and dogs some tips are essential, not just to help things to go more smoothly, but also to provide the best care to all of your children (regular and fur babies.) Below, I have listed some essential tips to keep in mind while raising your children and your fur children. Some of these are just simply a lot of fun, and others are aimed more at safety.

1. Stick to a routine.

If you aren’t someone who has a routine, it’s never too late to get started. Having a consistent routine is going to help immensely, especially if you are potty training pets and trying to keep your kids calm and happy. It may sound difficult if you’ve never had a routine, but much like anything, once you get in the habit of following one, you will wonder why you never did before.

2. Help your child to empathize with your dogs.

Point out your dog’s emotions to your child. For example, point out that when they are wagging their tail, that means they are happy. If they are growling, that means they are angry. Doing this will help your child understand and empathize with your dog.

3. Train your dog.

Teach your dog simple commands and how to use the potty outside. Having a routine will help a lot with this, and reinforcing good behavior with treats. There are piles of information online about how to train your dog to sit, roll over, and use the potty outside.

4. Simplify nutrition.

Find a diet that works for your family and your dogs and stick to it. Keep consistent meal times and make sure that you aren’t under or overfeeding anyone. Balance is key.

5. Reward good behavior.

When you notice good behavior, whether it’s your dogs or your kids, reward it. Give your dog a treat for going potty outside. Give your child encouraging words when you notice them doing the right thing without you telling them to.

6. Get your kids to help with dog care.

When you are bathing your dogs, get your child to help. Or have them measure out the dog food to feed the animals. Keep it simple, but stay consistent.

7. Spend time outdoors.

Outdoor time is sure to please your whole family and keep everyone entertained. Kids and animals both need exercise and who doesn’t love a little sunshine? Grab a leash and go to your nearest park or if you have a big yard, go out there. It doesn’t have to be extravagant.

8. Introduce a new baby’s scent to dogs.

If you’ve just brought a new baby home, it’s a good idea to wrap a blanket around your baby and then introduce the blanket to your pet, so they can get a sense of their smell. This helps the animal to feel more familiar with the new baby. You can have your partner do this before you come home with the new baby, which will mentally prepare your pets for their new family member.