It is essential to prepare your dog as early as possible to help them adjust to the arrival of your new baby. You will have approximately nine months to prepare your dog for the arrival of their new family member. Your goal is to bring your baby home to a calm, well-behaved pet. Not to worry, if you didn’t start early, it is never too late to smooth out any unwanted pet behaviors in your dog.
The two main things you will want to concentrate on when introducing dog to baby:
- Training your pet to safely interact with the newborn baby.
- Helping your pet adjust to the many new sights, sounds, and experiences that come with bringing a new baby into the house.
Tips For Introducing Dog to Baby: Before Bringing Baby Home
Pregnancy and preparing for a new baby is a big, life altering event for everyone in the family. Chances are high that your pet already has some idea that something is about to happen. Our pets are very in tune with us and our feelings, and they can sense when moods and behaviors change.
Tips For Introducing Dog to Baby: Scent
Pets and newborn babies should be acquainted before they physically meet. Bring an item from the hospital with the baby’s scent on it. As you hold the item, allow your pet to sniff it. You can establish yourself as the pack leader as you control how and when your pet can approach the object.
Tips For Introducing Dog to Baby: Boundaries
Setting boundaries around the nursery will ensure pets, and newborn babies will get off to a great start. It may be a good idea to begin with an off-limits rule, and to condition your pet that there is an invisible barrier that she may not cross without permission. After a few days, allow your pet to enter the nursery to explore and sniff items with supervision. You control how long the pet is allowed to stay in the nursery. Repeat this activity a few times before baby arrives.
Tips For Introducing Dog to Baby: Obedience
Teach your dog basic commands if they do not already know them. Your dog should be comfortable on a leash, and understand basic commands such as sit, stay, come, and down. You may also add ‘leave it’ and ‘drop it’ as these two behaviors can teach your dog to leave baby’s things alone.
Tips For Introducing Dog to Baby: Crate Training
You may try training your dog to a crate. Not only will this give your pet a safe, quiet place that they can retreat to if they feel overstimulated, but you know that both your baby and your pet are in a safe place.
Tips For Introducing Dog to Baby: Hire a Professional
If you feel like you are not up to the task of training your dog, you may hire a professional trainer. Trainers and veterinarians offer “baby readiness” classes that will prepare your pet for living with a newborn baby.
Tips for Introducing Dog to Baby: The Introduction
You want your pet to have a pleasant experience with their first encounter with the newborn baby. You can help get things off to a great start by following these tips.
Tips For Introducing Dog to Baby: Take It Slow
When it is time to bring the baby home, you will want to allow others to enter the house before the baby. Your pet will be able to express their usual excitement upon people entering their home, and they will expend some energy in the process. After a few minutes, place her on a leash and have small treats available.
Tips For Introducing Dog to Baby: Stay Calm
Stay calm and relaxed during the introduction. Your dog can sense your emotions. If you are nervous or fearful, your dog may become nervous and think the bundle you are holding is something they need to be worried about.
Tips For Introducing Dog to Baby: Put on a Smile
Speak in a soft, cheerful voice as you walk in the house. Find a quiet place and sit down while holding the baby in your arms. While the dog is on the leash, invite her over and allow her to sniff the baby. Talk to your dog in a happy, calm voice and reward her for following commands. She must feel like the meeting and interaction are fun and not at all stressful.
Tips For Introducing Dog to Baby: Call in Support
If you do not feel like you can remain calm, you may consider having another family member make the introduction. You must avoid nervousness, agitation, and any fearful behavior. Your pets do not need special accommodations for the new baby. Keep routines consistent, provide them with daily walks and playtime, and be a consistent leader of the pack.