The preparation, excitement, and anticipation of bringing home a new baby can be overwhelming. Introducing your dog to the baby can be dangerous unless you follow these transition strategies.
Preparing Ahead Of Time For The New Baby
Any dog you bring home or have in the house must be up to date on vaccinations and checkups. The last thing you want is a sick dog to care for when caring for a newborn.
A new baby can trigger anxiety in your dog just by showing up. Preparation is key to a successful introduction. Something we do before bringing the baby home is to give our dogs articles of clothing, or cloth, that’s been touching the newborn child. We allow the dogs to smell it and play with it. In fact, we sit on the floor and use calm praising words as we rub the cloth on the dog’s muzzle. Gentle, caring actions are best, so consider steering away from being extremely animated or overly exciting your dog.
Be sure you allow playtime with your dog to continue once the new baby comes home. Sibling rivalry is not pretty between and pup and his human counterpart.
“For years dog trainer Michael Wombacher has worked with expecting dog owners to prevent problems between dogs and children. He has also unfortunately witnessed too many families forced to surrender their beloved family companions because they failed to prepare the dog for the arrival of a new family member.” Wombacher’s book, Good Dog, Happy Baby is an excellent resource in preparation of your bundle of joy’s arrival.
Be Alert To Life With Your Dog And The New Baby
In a previous article, I mentioned the amazing sense of smell your dog has. If you notice your dog backing away from the baby, think about what he’s smelling. In this instance, a great hack to nullify new baby smell is for all family members to use the same or like-scented bath wash, shampoo, etc until the newness wears off
Setting your dog and new baby up to succeed in a lifelong relationship takes you being alert to life. For instance, consider these stress signs:
- Loss of appetite
- Acting depressed and lethargic
- Barking more
- Using the house as a bathroom
A few more things many parents did not think of:
- Don’t give a lifelike baby doll to your dog to play with.
- Keep active doggie play in baby-free rooms.
- Teach your growing baby to treat her dog gently.
Due to our topic, this overlooked dog may be the best for your baby.
In conclusion, these tips should get you started on the way to a home filled with good dogs and a happy baby!
What other dog-friendly tips would you offer families expecting their first baby?