Dogs and babies can live safely in the same household, but this doesn’t always happen. How you introduce your dog to your new baby can have a long-term effect for everyone.
If you have a dog and are expecting a baby, you need to ask yourself: “How will the arrival of my new bundle of joy affect my dog?”
Every dog is different! Some will share your excitement and instinctively love your baby even before the big day! Other dogs may feel jealous when your attention is diverted from them.
Dogs and Babies: A Bond That Can Last A Lifetime
You must remember that your dog may not know what a baby is! For many dogs, a tiny human being is a brand new concept!
There are so many success stories out there! Most dogs introduced to babies correctly love and cherish the new little person. The dog becomes protective and will watch over your baby continually – especially when you can’t.
There are a few things better than watching babies interact with dogs –they play, they love, they’re just awesome! Growing up with a dog is fun; it’s stimulating and good for your baby’s development.
Your dog can be your baby’s best playmate and guardian if you introduce your furry friend to your baby appropriately.
On the other hand, if you don’t get the “dog and baby” introduction right, your pooch could add to the stress and anxiety, and affect your joy of welcoming a new baby into your home.
Dog shelters are flooded with new dogs because their owners are expecting a baby!
It’s only natural to be concerned about baby’s safety, but it does not have to mean giving up on your dog.
Months before your little one arrives, think about the ways you will introduce your baby to your dog.
Make sure you prepare your dog for a change in routine, especially for the inevitable decline in your attention.
Take time to ponder how your dog will react to the loss of your attention. You know your dog best. Do you treat your pooch like a baby? Does your dog sleep in your bed? Are you a softie – do you let your dog get away with things? How does your dog react to new situations? Picture some of your pup’s cuteness in your mind and then add your new baby to the mix. You’ll soon see what needs to change in anticipation of the happy dog-and-baby meeting.
Dogs and Babies: Preparing for the Meeting
You cannot expect your furry friend to fall in love with your little one at first sight. However, if you prepare in advance, all of you can reap the rewards!
Don’t deprive your baby of the joy of growing up with your furry baby – don’t deprive yourself of the joy your dog brings to your home.
Dogs and babies can coexist in harmony. It is possible and the benefits far outweigh the risks.
Preparing months ahead will help your dog accept the new baby more easily when the big day arrives! Here are some tips to ensure harmony and safety between dogs and babies.
Dogs and Babies: Tips for Preparing for the Meeting
- Teach your dog the Wait command. If your dog knows how to wait, then you are one step ahead! This prevents your dog from going into any rooms or jumping onto the furniture without your consent.
- Visualize a home with a dog and a baby together. Does your pooch jump on you or on the bed or couch without consent? If necessary, put increased effort into training your dog to correct this behavior.
- Practice walking around with a doll in your arms. The key is to get your dog used to seeing something he or she is not allowed to jump up at or lie beside.
- Before the baby arrives, practice walking your dog beside a stroller. If you can, create situations in which your dog may encounter distractions such as other dogs, cats, and others. Take steps to correct any behavior that is potentially harmful.
- Does your dog do well around children? If your dog has never been around children, go to places, like parks, where your pooch can get used to babies and toddlers.
- By sticking to a routine, you can ensure a good life for your dog and baby coexisting in harmony. When your dog notices that your attention is being diverted from him to the baby, jealousy could set in. A jealous dog may act out to get attention. Find the time to make sure your dog still feels loved despite the new family member. Better still; try to include your dog in as many baby activities as you possibly can. It’s vital to supervise all “dog-baby” interactions. Never allow your dog to get involved in activities until you invite this.
- Have someone bring home a baby blanket from the hospital and allow your pooch to smell it before the baby comes home.
- When the baby arrives, allow your dog to get used to seeing him or her in your arms, bed and everywhere in the house. Be patient with the initial introduction even if it takes a while.
- On the actual day of the introduction, try not to be nervous. Your dog can easily detect if you are uneasy. Wait until you are comfortable enough to let your baby and pooch meet so that the meeting is positive and happy.