Having a baby is a momentous occasion for any family. However, if you have a dog in the house, you will need to understand how to introduce it to the new addition in your family. As you will see, there are necessary steps that should be considered when having your furry friend meet your baby.
Meeting The Baby
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), your dog will face several new smells, and sounds, that he or she has not been used to – especially if it was never around babies previously. Bringing in the newborn also means that everyone’s schedule will change, and your dog will get less attention than before.
To prepare for it getting used to having the baby around, you will need to focus on two factors. First, make sure your dog is trained with the necessary skills to interact with your newborn. Second, make sure your furry friend can adjust to the upcoming changes. They will need to be prepared when you bring your new son or daughter home. Gradually having your dog get used to these differences will minimize any stress that ensues once the baby arrives.
It’s also a good idea to have the dog be a part of the baby’s life from the beginning. Feed the dog, and give it treats, when the baby is around. You can also take your baby along when you walk your dog. Setting a new plan, and schedule, will help it get used to the new addition.
Tips From The Whisperer
Of course, many dog lovers are familiar with Cesar Millan, also known as “The Dog Whisperer”. He also offers his advice on introducing your dog, and baby. He says that leadership is important. “Nine months is more than enough time for you and your pet to work through most issues and smooth out any unwanted habits, and for you to establish yourself as the unwavering pack leader.” You can help in the process by having your dog sniff new items such baby clothes, a burp cloth, and any other item that the baby will come into contact with. Have your dog get used to the idea of having a baby in the house.
Before the introduction comes, take your dog on a long walk to drain its energy, and make sure both of you are calm. Let the dog sniff the baby from a distance. Eventually, you can bring it closer. Using this method teaches the dog that there is a new pack member that deserves respect.
Preparing Your Dog
The first few weeks in your new situation may be tough. However, if your dog acts out, don’t be so quick to reprimand it. Using a distraction will help your furry friend calm down. You can buy a new toy for your dog, just as you got one for the baby. Including your dog in everyday situations will give it the attention he or she needs, and will also build language skills for your baby. After the infant grows a little, he or she can become a lifelong playmate for your dog.
If your dog is smaller in size, it could be ideal when the baby comes home. After all, before you were the parent of a human baby, you also had a four-legged member of the house that was cute, compact, and loving. Small dogs are great for seniors, and apartment dwellers because they don’t need a lot of space to run around. They are also easy to handle, and are happy in most situations. When they are well-trained, and socialized, they make great companions that give lots of love, and affection, which is a perfect situation for a newborn. If your dog knows what to expect, your dog and baby will get along in no time.
Introducing your newborn son or daughter to your furry friend can be an exciting experience. As long as your remember a dog’s pack mentality, and prepare them for the smells, sounds, and routine, your adjustment should be very smooth. Once they get to know each other, they should become lifelong friends.
Gwen Lewis is a writer and makeup artist based in Southern California. Because of her passion for beauty and health, she hopes to help others not just look great but feel great, whether through makeup or her writing. In her free time, she enjoy shopping and pick-up soccer games with her friends.