For pet owners, bringing a newborn home can be worrisome and overwhelming. Bringing home, a newborn, is a big undertaking for any parent, and your dog will likely need to get used to the change, too.
Whilst it is never advised to leave your dog alone with your child, here are some tips to help ease this new transition into your household:
Assess your dog’s obedience level:
- Consult with a Vet.
- Enroll your dog in obedience classes.
- Begin daily obedience training, in order to monitor your dog’s changing comfort levels; as you acquaint them with changes to your household.
As you introduce your dog to a new and differing environment, it is important to maintain a routine:
- Schedule walks and feedings for the same time each day, making sure to continue this once the baby arrives home.
- With any species, ‘only child’ syndrome can cause issues when a new sibling is introduced. Allow for designated one-on-one time with your dog, before and after the baby’s birth.
- Schedule routine nail trimming in the months before birth to get the dog used to having short nails and a softer touch.
Bringing your baby home:
- Allow the dog to see your other family members before introducing the baby.
- Once the household is calm, introduce the baby with a calming voice.
- Make sure to praise the dog on their good behaviour, and reward them with treats.
- Monitor your dog’s body language around your newborn.
- Watch for signs of posturing, and hunching.
- If your dog has their back turned away from the newborn it can indicate distrust and dislike, towards your new addition.
- It is not wise to let your dog into your baby’s room, it may give the impression that the room and the crib, is their new sleeping quarters.
- Dogs have a great sense of smell and do not need to smell the baby in a close proximity when they arrive home.
- Keep the dog from making eye contact with your newborn, as they may see the baby as a threat.
When expecting a new baby, preparations can only go so far. It is important to dog-proof your house; as you would baby-proof it, to make sure physical boundaries are in place at all times.