How to Introduce Your Dog to Your Baby
Introducing your dog to your new baby can be concerning. Many mothers-to-be are worried that the two won’t get along, or that the dog will pose a safety risk. Luckily, there are a few simple tips that can help prepare your dog for the new addition to the family.
You have nine months available to get your dog ready for the new arrival. This is plenty of time for your dog to learn the importance of good behaviour.
- Teach your dog boundaries using conditioning methods; let them know that your new baby’s room is out of bounds.
- Even simple verbal cues can greatly improve the control you have over your dog. Spend the time during your pregnancy making sure your dog sits, stays down and waits at your command.
Preparing for lifestyle changes
Day-to-day life is going to be slightly different for your pet once the new baby arrives. You can prepare your dog for these changes by introducing him to certain aspects of the new routine early.
- You could start walking your dog at different times of the day if this is what you plan to do when the baby arrives.
- Perhaps start taking your dog to a doggy daycare if you forecast that this could be something that may need to be done temporarily.
- You may need to start doing things sporadically to remove the timely routines your dog is accustomed to. For example, if you usually feed your dog at 6pm each evening, start to feed him at random periods between 4 and 8. This will account for the hectic times you may face when the baby arrives, and will prepare your pup for the requisite changes.
Getting your dog accustomed to new sense experiences
Dogs are particularly susceptible to sensory changes in their environment. Their sense of smell, for example, is much greater than that of a human’s, and so bringing new scents into the house can be extremely alerting to your pet. Therefore, it can be a good idea to prepare your dog for these new smells by gradually introducing them to him.
- You could bring an item with the baby’s scent on back from the hospital and have your dog get used to it before the baby is brought home.
- Use the car seat in the back of the car when your dog rides with you.
Don’t give your dog extra attention — but don’t forget about them either!
It’s perfectly natural to be spending more time with your new baby during their first period at home. Many pet-owners who foresee this will provide extra attention to their pet in the weeks prior to the upcoming arrival. This is not recommended; doing so will only make your dog feel unloved and left-out when it inevitably fails to receive the same attention.
- You should certainly prioritise your baby, but don’t forget to give some love to your dog too! Your dog may become irritable and harder to control if you neglect it any attention at all. You need to strike a balance to let your dog feel loved, all the while letting them know that the baby is a priority.
We’re glad to give further advice about introducing your dog to your baby. Many mothers, however, may still feel concerned about this meeting and find it helpful to leave their dog with a reputable kennel service for the first period of the baby’s venture at home.
Here at Jaycliffe Pets, our specialists have a comprehensive understanding of what dogs need and how they should be treated. We tend to each dog’s needs individually, with round the clock care to ensure that their stay at our kennels is comfortable and relaxing. To learn more about our services, give our friendly team a call today.