Tips for Having a Family Pet with a Toddler

Two months ago, we added a new addition to the Ordoñez family—Bailey— a Portuguese Water Dog (or “portie” for short). He’s the cutest little thing and has so much energy. After our Rottweiler, Bear, passed away last year, our home just wasn’t the same without a dog. We did our research and since the hubby has bad allergies, we decided to go with a dog that was hypoallergenic. Porties are also great with kids, which was a huge plus.

Overall, Bailey has been a huge success with Andres. They get along great and Andres LOVES him. They have pretty much become inseparable.

In case you’re looking to add a puppy or dog to your home (with a toddler) here are a few tips on how we get our toddler involved:


Help with Feedings: Andres loves to help feed Bailey. In the mornings he’ll say “Mama, Bailey needs food!” So I’ll help him grab his bowl and we’ll practice counting as I scoop the dog food in the bowl. This also teaches toddlers responsibility.

Have a Routine: We also try to stick to a routine when it comes to feedings. For the most part, we try to keep our dog’s feeding the same as our toddlers.

Quick Tip: Just like toddlers, we also have to keep an eye on the food we feed our dogs. Dog food brands like Solid Gold take a holistic and natural approach to nutrition and they never add ingredients like corn, wheat, soy, sugar or artificial flavors. I also love that they include botanical ingredients like kelp, carrots, blueberries and lentils.


It’s important to always supervise your toddler when they are around the family pet (and don’t leave them alone together). Many times toddlers (as well as puppies) can be rough with one another. I try to teach Andres the right way to interact with Bailey. For example, when he pets Bailey I always tell him we have to do it “soft” and show him how to do it.

Quick Tip: Disney Junior has a special event coming up called “Doc McStuffins: Pet Vet” which features Doc giving tips on how to care, love and play with your family pet. Andres loves watching Doc McStuffins with his cousin Isabella, so I’m sure these episodes will come in handy to teach him how to care for Bailey. It premieres Friday, August 14 at 9am on Disney Junior on the Disney Channel.


Go for Family Walks: Play and exercise is very important for toddlers and dogs alike. So make sure to bring your dog along for family walks. We try to go for walks daily around our neighborhood. It’s a great way for the entire family to get some exercise, fresh air and some sun (Vitamin D).

This post is brought to you in collaboration with DisneyJunior. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that make Viva Fashion possible. 


1 comment

  1. These are SUCH important tips to keep in mind! Thanks for sharing!
    XO Ellen from Ask Away


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