How to Introduce My Newborn Baby to My Dog
Have you given birth to a new baby? Then congratulations, and if you are still pregnant, I also congratulate you on your expected arrival. Having a baby is fun and exciting to parents. However, one thing that many new parents who are also pet owners often overlook, probably because of the excitement is how their pets are going to react to the new baby coming to the home. Just as you need to prepare for the arrival of your new baby, you also have to prepare your dog for the new baby coming into the family.
It is recommended that you begin to prepare your pet for the arrival of your new baby ahead of time since the beginning of pregnancy or even from the time you are trying to conceive. Although, it is best to start as soon as possible, but never too late to train a pet to live with children, even if you already have an infant or toddler. While setting up your baby’s room, try and introduce your dog to some of the baby gifts and other items in there. When showing the dog some of the baby’s toys, let your pet know that the toys belong to the new baby and not itself. It is very important to let your dog know that everything does not belong to it, because dogs can be very territorial in nature.
While you are still pregnant, observe any territorial behavior in your dog and try as much as possible to make changes. This will better prepare your pet and give restriction from the baby’s toys and play area.
After you must have given birth and still in the hospital, have someone take home a cover that the baby has used. Let your dog smell the cover of the baby. In this case, your dog will absorb the scent of the new baby from the blanket. This will go a long way to help your dog prepare for the homecoming of your new born baby and you wouldn’t experience any difficulty in intruding your baby to your dog.
Once you get home with your new baby, it is important to have someone around to help you introduce your baby to your dog. Your pet may get very excited to see you on your return, and will need a lot of attention from you since you have been away to the hospital. When this happens, it is important to make the best out of the situation. Let someone else hold your baby while you say “hello” to your pet.
What you want to do next is keep your dog in a confined room; somewhere it cannot break loose from. Once this is done, let your pet smell your hand and pet until it is calm. When the dog is calm, it is time to properly introduce your baby. Sit down with your baby and let someone else bring in the dog from where it is into the room. Your pet may become curious at first, but ensure to take charge of the situation and set boundaries. If your dog gets along well with the baby, ensure to reward the pet. But if on the contrary, do not yell at the dog, but separate it from the baby and try again later.
It may take quite a while for your dog to adjust to having a new baby around. During this process, try as much as possible to be patient and stay calm and positive. If you feel unable to help your dog adjust to the new baby, then you may consider hiring a professional to assist you in doing this.