Introducing Your New Baby To Your Dog

With an endless list of things to do before their baby arrives, expectant parents often find it comforting to spend time with their pets. Although, during cuddle time on the couch with their dog, something happens. The realization of how this huge change in their household may affect them! This can lead to more anxiety for new parents. While cats seem to somewhat easily adjust to the addition of a baby, dogs can have problems getting used to the newest family member in the house.

However, this process can go much more smoothly. How? By pet parents remembering a few steps to take before the baby is born. In addition, learn some tips to follow for when the baby comes home for the first time. 5 Points Animal Hospital has worked with many new parents on introducing their new baby to their dog. Therefore, we would like to share our recommendations.

Prepare your dog by teaching him new skills.

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), it is important that your dog knows some basic skills. This includes how to follow commands – and how to behave politely. What if your dog cannot sit, stay, get down, or come when called? You will need to teach them these skills to ensure the safety of your baby. You never want your dog to jump on you when you are holding your baby, or to startle the baby by barking loudly.

Although it may sound harsh to first-time parents before the baby is born, the command “go away” can be a hard one for your dog to get used to. However, it is so necessary for the happiness and security of both your dog and your baby! Dogs do not always realize that they can move away if a baby crawling towards them makes them feel trapped and uncomfortable. That’s why teaching your dog to move to a favorite resting spot in another area or room is important. When you say “please go away,” it reduces their anxiety and need to react by growling or snapping at the baby.

Provide positive experiences with the baby for your dog from the very start.

When your newly expanded family comes home for the first time, you should ask your accompanying family and friends to go into the house first. This is so that your dog has time to express excitement at being around people. It allows you to calmly enter the house without alerting your dog to any worry you may have about him startling or disturbing the baby. Speak to your dog softly and gently. Also, have someone else be close by to give them treats for staying calm.

These tips should also be followed when you decide to let your dog check your baby out more carefully. When you allow your dog to take their first sniffs of the baby, you may feel more comfortable by directing him to start at your baby’s feet. Staying friendly and relaxed during this first encounter can set the stage for a happy relationship between your dog and baby!

Are you nervous about introducing your dog to your new baby? Teaching your dog some important skills can help you remain calm and relaxed when you bring your baby home for the first time. If you have any questions or concerns about this topic, contact us at 5 Points Animal Hospital for more helpful tips!

By Dr. Janet Grace | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Comments Off on Introducing Your New Baby To Your Dog

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