“I Owned One In The Past”: Mom Doesn’t Want A Pit Bull Around Her Baby, MIL Is Angry
While some people consider their dogs to be their fur babies, we have to admit that no matter how much we love them, they’re not exactly the same as human babies. And even though it might be safe to put two human infants in the same room to play, there are a few more risks associated with leaving a dog and a child together.
Due to concerns for her child’s safety, one mom recently shared on the Parenting subreddit that she won’t let her mother-in-law babysit anymore if she refuses to lock up her dog. Below, you’ll find the full story, as well as some of the replies sympathetic readers have left her.
This mom has requested that her mother-in-law keep her pit bull separate from her son while babysitting
Image credits: Makarand Sawant (not the actual photo)
But because she refuses to lock her up, the mom decided she doesn’t deserve to babysit her little one
Image credits: Sandra Seitamaa (not the actual photo)
Image credits: Liza Summer (not the actual photo)
Image credits: desertrose156
Pit bulls are responsible for more fatalities than any other dog breed
It’s no secret that many of us consider our dogs to be members of the family. We share a special bond with them, and we love them with our whole hearts. But when it comes to introducing them to children, we have to look at the situation rationally. You may view your dog as your precious little baby, but they have the capacity to bite and scratch much more easily than a human baby, and we can’t always be sure what exactly will trigger them.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control, more than 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs in the US every year, and at least half of those bitten are kids. Unfortunately, pit bulls are often the culprits for violence directed towards humans. Between 2005-2020, dog injuries and attacks killed 568 Americans, and of these fatalities, pit bulls were responsible for two thirds of them.
Pit bulls are also the most dangerous breed for children to be around. Despite the fact that pit bulls make up less than 6% of the dogs in the US, in 2019, they were responsible for killing 10 out of the 16 kids who died due to dog attacks. And after a baby and toddler were tragically mauled to death by their family’s pit bulls in 2022, there has been much debate about whether anyone should be owning the breed.
Experts recommend never leaving small children and dogs together unsupervised
Pit bulls are not the only breeds that parents are advised to keep away from small children. In fact, having any dogs around babies and toddlers can pose a risk. The RSPCA warns parents to never leave their baby and dog together unsupervised, no matter how much you trust your dog.
When a new family member comes along, it disrupts the dog’s routine, and they may receive less attention. They’re not as used to your baby as they are to you, and they may display behavior you’ve never seen before. They can even accidentally cause harm without realizing how heavy and strong they are or how sharp their teeth and nails are. Turning your back for a second when your dog and child are together simply poses too big of a risk.
According to Andrew O’Shea, veterinarian and animal behavior specialist from the Sydney Animal Behaviour Service, some of the factors that contribute to dogs attacking babies are: new smells, loud noises, staring, unpredictable movements, unfamiliarity and jealousy. But thankfully, we can usually prevent dog bites and attacks by taking simple precautions.
By taking precautions, most dog attacks and bites can easily be prevented
“Any dog has the potential to injure children. Any dog has the potential to bite. Any dog should be supervised around children until the child is at least eight years of age,” O’Shea told the Sydney Morning Herald. Kids also need to be taught how to appropriately approach and interact with dogs. They need to be gentle and considerate, which might be challenging for young children to understand at first.
Parents also should teach their little ones that dogs need their space, just like anyone else. If they’re eating or sleeping, they should be left alone. Learn how to recognize when is an appropriate time to try to play. It’s also important to know when a dog is uncomfortable and to be able to recognize signs of fear or anxiety. Aggression usually comes from fear in dogs, so bites can usually be preventable if owners pay attention to the signals their dogs are giving off.
We would love to hear your thoughts on this situation in the comments below, pandas. How would you respond to the mother-in-law if you were in this mom’s position? Feel free to share, and then if you’re interested in reading another Bored Panda article discussing dog attacks, we recommend checking out this one next!