Many young couples that own a dog will undoubtedly get to the decision to have a baby, and although there are many things to consider when having a new baby in the home, one needs to consider the dog too. Introducing your pet to a newborn can be a great experience for both owner and dog, but there is a correct way to go about this. Therefore, in this article we will look in detail the steps you should take if you are wanting your dog to get along with your new family member.
First and foremost, you will not be able to introduce a dog to a newborn if he is aggressive, nippy or unpredictable, so it is crucial during the 9 months leading up to a birth as to what to do with your dog. During those months of pregnancy, make sure your dog gets some advance obedience training, and if that means hiring a professional then you need to do that, it will be worth it and you can’t put a price on the safety of a newborn. Having said that, if your dog is already socialized and doesn’t bite or nip, we can move on to the next step of actually introducing pet to baby.
Dogs have wonderful senses and can pick on on emotions both good and bad, and during pregnancy your dog will already know something has changed. During the pregnancy, if you’re setting up a nursery or baby room, you need to let your dog know that this room is off limits, at least initially, however, you can let him in as time goes on with supervision. Moreover, when mother is in the hospital with the newborn, try to take something home that will have the babies scent on it, so your dog can smell the new scent that will soon become an every day smell in the home.
Before bringing baby in the house, make sure you take your dog for a long walk to expel any extra energy and make sure you are in full control and the dog is calm before entering the house. Once you enter the home with your dog, he will notice the new smell straight away, so keep an eye on him and his reactions. The parent holding the baby should allow the dog to sniff and smell but at a distance only. Moreover, try to gauge the reactions, and over time you can allow him to get closer and closer, but never take any chances, if you are not in total control or are not 110% sure, do not allow any contact.
Finally, when you have a newborn baby in the home things change, like time schedules, sleep patterns and feeding times. Having said that, try not to interrupt your dogs schedule too much, as he needs to know he is still part of the family, even though there is a new addition. If you stop taking him for his regular walks, or avoid his playtime, he could start to get anxious or feel like the new addition is taking his place, which can lead to adverse behavior. Nevertheless, by doing the suggestions within this article, it may help to ensure that both your new baby, and your dog get on well with each other for both of their lifetime together.