A lot of people will own a pet – specifically a dog – before they have a newborn baby. It teaches them how to be responsible and look after a living creature. In some ways, people will look after their pet as if they are a baby, often spoiling them with gifts and giving them a lot of love.
They are by their side through everything, so when the dynamics of a family start to change, it can be a little confusing for the dog.
Use these tips to learn how to introduce your pet to a baby in the right way.
Train Your Dog
Before your baby arrives, you will want to make sure that there are no issues with your dog and that they are fully trained.
Basic obedience skills will be enough to help keep them calm when the new family member arrives such as sitting down quietly and not barking at every noise.
The last thing you want is for them to be making lots of noise that will set the baby off.
Get Them Used to the Scent
Dogs will always be intrigued by new scents, so you will want to get them used to the scent of the new-born baby. Before your baby is brought home, bring a blanket that had been wrapped around them and let your dog sniff it at a distance.
While you hold the blanket, you are showing that it is yours and not theirs. By only allowing them near it when you say so, you are letting them know they have to obey certain rules, which will come in handy when the baby arrives.
There will need to be certain areas of the house that will be off-limits to the dog and that should be the nursery.
Teach them that they shouldn’t cross the threshold without your permission as sometimes you don’t want them in the room with you.
Let them explore the room with your supervision, before deciding it is time to leave.
Eventually, with a bit of training, they will be obedient and always leave the room when you say so, which establishes you as the alpha.
Observe Their Interactions
Before your baby and dog meet for the first time, be sure that you have taken your dog out for a long walk to drain their energy.
This way they will be calmer and less energetic when meeting for the first time. They will know that the scent of the baby is new but is one they have smelt before due to you making them familiar with it.
Always observe their interactions and keep them at a respectable distance, to begin with. Eventually, you can allow the dog to get closer until the dog respects the baby.
As the new-born grows up, they will become more exploratory and it is even more important to keep on eye on them.
This is to make sure that the newborn baby doesn’t annoy the dog and that their interactions are peaceful
Give the Dog Love
The reason some dogs can be territorial is that they aren’t receiving any attention, so it is important that you continue to give your dog the love they deserve.
Maintain their usual routine of going for a walk and giving them new toys every so often. It will help them to feel secure and more relaxed about the new addition to the family.
It is always important to remember that your baby’s safety comes first, so if things aren’t working well, it may be a good idea to do more intensive training or think about finding your dog a new home.
Sometimes, a dog won’t take a newborn baby in the house, but if you establish yourself as the leader, it is more likely that they will get along well.