Bringing a new-born baby home can be very overwhelming indeed. But as a pet owner, you might be having the extra worry of introducing your baby to your pet dog. But, the good news is there’s actually nothing to worry about. Although you may not know what to expect from your furry friends but with a little training, the transition can be really smooth. Being prepared in advance can help you a lot in this situation. Here you’ll find everything you need to know about introducing your baby to your pet dog and become the best dog mom ever.
Before the baby arrives
While nearly all dogs love babies, but like it is with all new people or objects, they have to get familiar with the baby first. Luckily, with some practice and tricks, you can prepare your pet for the upcoming change.
- Create a new schedule
Your old schedule is not going to work anymore. This is because you will have lesser time to spend with your dog after childbirth. It is a great idea to make your dog get used to it in advance. A sudden change in the schedule can make your dog feeling stressed.
- Book doggie day-care
Now that you know that you will not have enough time for your dog, booking a day-care for your dog will be a good option. There will be someone taking care of your dog while you are transitioning to having your baby in the house. However, make sure that your pet is comfortable with the day-care you choose.
- Arrange dog handler
If you or your dog is not okay with the idea of a day-care service then you must arrange a dog handler. A dog handler can be anyone in your family, friends, or relatives. The only purpose of having a dog handler is to have minimize change in the environment for the dog and ensuring they are getting their regular dose of human interactions.
- Personal Training
A few weeks of training is enough to train your dog to adjust to the new baby. The main goal of the training is to make your dog disciplined. A well-behaved dog that follows commands will adapt easily to the situation. If your pet is stubborn, you can hire professional trainers. However, if your dog obeys basic commands like sit, stand, stop then there’s no need for professional trainers as such.
- Toys & Activities
There are several toys that you can use to get an idea of your pet's attitude towards kids such as life-like doll. A doll that looks exactly like a baby is easily available in the market or online. Bringing that doll near the dog will give you an idea that how your pet is going to react when you will bring your real baby home. Another activity includes playing sounds of babies in the speakers to observe the reaction of your pet. This is a good way to determine how much training is needed.
When the baby arrives
If you have already used some of the methods mentioned earlier then it will be a bit easier for your dog to adjust to the new baby.
Given below are a few things you should do when you are bringing the baby to your house to meet your dog
- Smell familiarization
This is a simple and yet very effective technique to introduce your dog to your baby. Do not enter your house with the baby directly. Instead, first bring a piece of clothing or a toy that belongs to the baby into the house. Allow your pet to sniff the item from a distance. This way you are telling your dog that this item belongs to you. The purpose of this exercise is to make your dog aware of the scent.
- First introduction
Ensure that your dog is in a tired state for the first introduction of your dog to your baby. He must be calm and quiet. Your furry friend will automatically detect the scent if you have already performed the smell adaptation exercise mentioned above. Allow the dog to sniff your baby but from a safe distance. Don’t allow your dog to get too close to your baby in the very first meeting.
- Establish boundaries
It is important for you to create boundaries and restrict your dog’s entrance to the room where the baby is kept. This will make your dog aware of the fact that this room belongs to the baby and he or she is a part of the family.
Points to remember
- Never let your dog feel lonely. Always try to spare some time to spend with your furry friend. Including your pet in activities with your baby is a great idea to normalize the situation.
- Keep in mind to not mix the toys of your baby and your pet. Do not let your baby or dog play with each other's toys.
- If you ever feel that your pet is misbehaving or is feeling irritated, consider the fact that he might be demanding attention and feeling ignored. You should do something to make them feel wanted again.
Generally, dogs get along with babies easily. In some cases though, dogs can be quite stubborn and not willing to adjust to the baby. Don’t worry, they just need more training as compared to the others.Introducing your dog to your baby can be really easy with a few tips and exercises. You need to practice and train your dog both before and after bringing the baby home. Follow the tips listed above and you would be good to go!
And if you have a friend who has a baby and a dog, here are some cool ideas for gift to a dog lover.
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