Are you expecting a baby or a grandchild? Are you a new mom, dad, grandma or grandpa? If so, first off, congratulations! The birth of a baby is perhaps one of life’s most precious and love-invoking moments for any parent or grandparent.
If you also have a furry friend at home, you may have wondered how smooth the transition will go when bringing home baby. Will your pooch respond relatively well to the new family member? Will there be any jealousy? Are there things you can do to help prepare your dog for the new addition that will soon enter the picture?
To make the adjustment a bit easier, we have compiled a list of tips that may help reduce your anxiety about the exciting process of bringing home your bundle of joy and introducing dog and baby.
Nip Any Unwanted Behaviors In The Bud
Before the baby comes, you have nine months to prepare for the transition. Now is the perfect time to resolve any aggressive or hyper behavior your dog exhibits. Training your dog early will better prepare you and your dog for the new arrival.
If your dog shows any aggressive behavior that you cannot get under control, Cesar Millan suggests seeking professional help. The safety of your baby always comes first.
Slowly Introduce Your Baby’s Scent
If possible, bring home at item from the hospital that has your baby’s scent on it before the baby comes home. A blanket or baby hat will work just fine. As you allow your dog to sniff it, Millan suggests making sure you have control the entire time. First, only allow your dog to sniff the item from a distance. The important thing is to let the dog know the item is yours, not his.
Grandparents, you can do this, too. Especially if both parents work and you will be watching the baby a lot, it is a good idea to slowly introduce your dog to the new addition that may be spending a lot of time at your house.
Create The Best Possible Conditions For The Introduction
It is extremely important that your dog stays calm while he is around baby. When your baby first arrives home, there will already be a lot of excitement, which your dog will pick up on. A great way to help ensure your pooch stays calm for the first introduction is to tire him out beforehand.
Take your dog for a walk, play with him at the park and let your furry friend get his energy out before the big introduction. If you are unable to do this, ask a family member or friend to take your dog out for the day.
Try To Keep Similar Routines
Naturally, the baby will receive a lot more of your time and attention than your dog. This may be a big adjustment for your canine companion. Try to make sure you are still paying attention to your pooch and keeping similar walking routines. You can even take your baby along in a stroller on your dog’s walks.
If you are nervous about bringing a stroller along on your dog’s walk, practice before baby comes home. You can put a baby doll in a stroller and practice going for walks. This way, your dog will get plenty of practice walking alongside a stroller and you can address any unwanted behavior. Then when it’s the real deal and baby is there, neither you nor your dog will have to worry – you will both be accustomed to it.
Just as your dog has learned to respect your child, so too should your child be taught how to respect the dog. As your baby develops into a toddler, you can teach him or her to be gentle with the dog, pet him calmly and avoid poking him in the face.
As you know, the bond between man and canine is unique, special, and it can last a lifetime. With the right adjustments and transitions, your child and dog can develop a forever friendship.
If you enjoyed our article, feel free to share it with any expecting mommies, daddies or grandparents you know.