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Introducing Your Dog to Your New Baby

Are you concerned about introducing your dog to your new baby?

Bringing home your new baby is an exciting time for you and your spouse! However, the experience may be a bit challenging for your dog. It’s important to understand that since your dog has been your one and only up until this point, they may become confused, jealous, or maybe even frightened.

To help eliminate these types of emotions in your dog, laying the foundation for a friendly relationship between your baby and pet is helpful.

Read on to learn some ways of properly introducing your dog to your new baby.

Your Dog May Be Jealous

It’s a well known fact that dogs are known to get jealous when they aren’t the center of attention anymore. This can be unavoidable since you will be spending a great deal of time with your infant instead of your dog. Sorry, Fido!

introducing your dog to your new baby

While jealousy is an undesirable reaction from your pup, accepting that your dog is just missing your attention may help you cope.

Making Time for Your Dog

When you do have free time, try to use it to play with your pet. Allowing your dog to get bored, especially during this transition time, can lead to destructive behavior. In some cases, it may even lead to uncharacteristic aggression. Therefore, creating a daily play-time routine that your pup can anticipate will help.

Keeping this routine consistent will help mitigate those jealous moments your dog is feeling.

Starting Slow

While you may be over the moon to share your new bundle of joy with Fido, try to start slowly with your introductions. Babies are small and can move suddenly. One of the last things you want is for your baby to surprise your dog with a flailing arm or kicking leg. Dogs are very inquisitive creatures, and baby and pup will need to be monitored during at least the first few weeks of together time.

Tips for Introducing Your Dog to Your New Baby

  1. When your baby comes home, greet your dog alone so that it doesn’t get too excited and jump on your baby. Afterward, have your dog adjust to the sight and smells of your baby while your pup is on a leash.
  2. Acclimate your dog to the smell of your baby, via a blanket or clothing. Also, introduce your pet to the smells of baby powder, lotion, etc.
  3. After a couple of days, remove the leash from your dog and monitor them closely as they observe your baby. Make sure to watch out for signs of aggression such as growling, intense stares, or baring of teeth.

Create Boundaries for Your Dog

Once your dog becomes used to your new baby, it’s time to create boundaries. Ideally, you should be able to command your dog to go to their “quiet place”. This is important if you are trying to perform a task your dog doesn’t understand, such as changing your baby’s diaper or feeding them.

If you do not already have one, purchase a crate, bed, or designate a quiet place for your dog to go to so they won’t disturb you and your baby when you need time alone.

For More Information

If you have questions about this topic or general questions about pet care, you can contact Kara Jenkins, Owner of TLC Pet Sitter. We are also available by email at info@tlcpetsitter.com. View more of our articles on pets here.