Dogs And Babies: How To Pave The Way For An Everlasting Friendship
Do you own one of the most lovable, adorable, personable dogs on the planet? Have you watched them grow into adulthood falling in love with them every step of the way? It may then be difficult if you find out that you are expecting a child. Your first concern may be how your dog will handle the new addition. With the tips, tricks, and advice below, you should have no problem introducing your new baby to your precious pup.
Anticipate Your Dog’s Reaction
Nobody knows your dog better than you do. He is a friendly companion that greets you at the door, wags his tail when you throw him a bone, and sleeps next to you when you watch television. He’s a member of the family and he was there before your baby. It is only fair that you take your understanding of his personality and work around that when introducing the newest member of “the pack”. Hopeful signs and behaviors will help you and your pet adjust to the new addition. Look for hopeful behaviors such as:
- Willingness to obey commands
- Gentle movements
- Ability to greet new people with a friendly demeanor
- Ability to obey established boundaries and borders
- Lack of aggression around food
- Lack of aggression around children
- Lack of aggression when handled roughly
Introduce Baby Items To Your Dog
Can you imagine if your entire world was changing around you and your loved ones weren’t including you? It would cause confusion, frustration, and anxiety. So to avoid these negative feelings in your furry friend, introduce new items to your dog when you bring them into your home. Let your dog wander around the baby room, let him sniff the new crib, and let him get used to the new smells of baby powders, lotions, soaps, and cleaners. Inclusion is key to a successful transition.
How To Introduce Your Dog To Your Baby
Make A Plan
From the second you know that you are pregnant, adopting, or in any other way expecting a new baby to enter the home, you should be making a plan. You should be planning every detail from when you are preparing the baby’s room through your child’s first year. Having a plan will help make you feel at ease. When you are at ease, your dog will be at ease.
Establish and Reinforce Obedience
It is more important than ever that you make sure that your dog can obey commands. Every command from sit to fetch will come in handy when establishing healthy borders and boundaries for your dog and the new baby.
Introduce Your Dog to Other Babies
You're likely to know another person in your life that has a baby. Ask that person if they would mind meeting you and your dog in a neutral place. Gauge what your dog’s reaction to the baby is. If the reaction is positive, try introducing babies to your home. Start these introductions early so that your dog is not shocked by the presence of a mini person. Repeat this slow introduction once your baby comes home.
Bring Baby Items Home from the Hospital before Bringing Home Your Baby
Before bringing your baby home from the hospital, try bringing home a burp cloth, hat, or other item that smells strongly of your new baby. Introduce this smell to your dog before you bring your baby home from the hospital. Spread the smell around the baby’s room if possible. This will make bringing the baby home smell familiar and less jarring for your precious dog.
Your precious dog is most likely going to love the new member of the family just as much as they love you. If you have watched your dog grow up with all of his personality traits and behaviors, then you will instinctively know in the back of your head whether or not he will be successful with the new baby. Dogs and babies go together like peanut butter and jelly-they will be inseparable once they meet. The key to this successful meet and greet is simply to prepare your dog and to include them in every step of the process.
Please note you should NEVER leave your baby alone and unsupervised with any pet, for any reason.
Enjoy your new family member and be sure to send us pics of your baby and your pup!
Author: Bobby Barker Bio: Bobby Barker is our resident lifelong dog owner expert and advice columnist who shares his insights about dog ownership, pet care, best veterinarian practices and everything related to your pup. He relies on years of experience raising dogs and keeping them healthy through play, exercise, love, and friendship.