Introducing your newborn baby to your pet dog is intimidating. It was for me at least!
We had quite an aggressive dog before baby arrived. He was the type of dog that would bark at the mailman and chase cats down the street.
However, we found that when we brought baby into our lives, the dog calmed right now!
What we discovered was we were giving too much attention to the dog before we had baby.
If you have a challenging dog, don’t worry. With the tips below, you’ll be able to introduce your pet dog to your baby in the safest way and with the least amount of hassle.
Introduce them slowly
Before bringing baby inside for the first time, it might be a good idea to exhaust the dog so that they don’t have the energy to be reactive. A good way to do this is to let them play in the year with their favorite toy for a short amount of time.
Dogs are very reactive to new sights and smells, and the dog will know something new is in the house. They will also be able to recognize that your attention has shifted to your bundle of joy. This is why it is important the dog isn’t too alert.
At this stage, it might be a good idea to let the dog get comfortable simply being around the baby. He might take a sniff of the babies foot or bottom – this is normal. Let it happen, but ensure you are holding the dog so that you are in charge of the introduction.
Don’t let the dog get too close however. Babies make sudden movements and you don’t want to frighten the dog as this could be dangerous.
Teach baby about dogs
Initially baby will take whatever they’re given, and the dog won’t seem much different than anything else in their surroundings. However once they reach an age where they can differentiate between stimuli, you will want to teach them how to interact with pets.
Show them to pat softly, to let the dog smell them and to be calm and responsive to the dog.
Don’t neglect your dog
The biggest risk of introducing your pet dog to your baby is probably not what the dog could do to the baby, but what you could unintentionally do to the dog!
We found our attention totally shifted to the baby once we brought them home. This meant no more late night walks or cuddles at night.
Your dog craves some attention, so it’s important to make them feel relaxed and part of the family.
Introducing a dog to a baby can be stressful for even the most well trained dogs. It’s important you follow the tips above and consult an expert on how to do so safely.
This way, you’ll be able enjoy the process and you’ll also make it enjoyable for your dog and your baby.