A Bundle Of Joy: Your Dog and Your New Baby
For many, there’s nothing more exciting than introducing a new baby to our family, and that includes our beloved pets. Dogs and kids have a long history of lasting relationships, but it’s important to get off to a great start. As with any new change, there are bound to be a few hurdles in the beginning, but with our guide to your dog and your new baby, you can be prepared for this adjustment and even help your dog ahead of time to meet this new phase of life head on.
Before the Birth
You may already have a lot on your plate, but as far as your dog is concerned, there are several things to do before you bring your baby home. These tips can help you soothe any signs of discomfort in your pet and get everyone started off on the right foot.
- Schedule a wellness exam so we can update any vaccines, make sure your pet is on year-round parasite prevention, get a nail trim and have their coat groomed.
- Brush up on basic training. Your pet must respond correctly to basic commands, and training can help to reduce unwanted barking, jumping, aggressiveness, and possessiveness.
- Introduce your pet to all the baby things. Make her a part of your preparations, and make it fun and rewarding for her. Let her investigate the baby’s room and praise her while she does.
- You want to establish a positive connection with all things baby related.
- If you intend on keeping your dog away from certain areas when the baby arrives, do so as soon as possible so that your dog doesn’t associate the change directly with the new baby.
- Practice walking your dog next to the baby’s empty stroller
- Desensitize your pet to the sights and sounds of new babies. You can play recordings of baby sounds, and even get your dog used to the smells of any products you’ll be using.
- Establish a safe space where your pet can retreat. Crate training can be beneficial so that your dog knows where he can go if things get too loud or stressful. Of course, make this a happy place for him – with his toys, bed, and food nearby.
Your Dog and Your New Baby
Once your baby is born, there are a few things to know that will help ease your dog and your new baby’s first meeting. Schertz Animal Hospital is here to help, so call us if you have specific questions about these tips.
- Have someone bring home a small article of clothing (like a hat) with the new baby’s scent on it. Introduce it to your dog with lots of praise and treats before the baby comes home.
- If the mother has the strongest connection to the dog, have her come inside the house alone, first. The dog has likely missed her, and this gives them a chance to reconnect together.
- Allow your dog to investigate the baby, praising her for good behavior
- Do not force your dog to interact with the baby. Allow her to come to the baby at her own pace.
- Stick to your pet’s routine as much as possible.
- If you are finding it difficult to give your pet attention, hire a dog walker or set up doggy daycare.
- Address attention seeking behaviors immediately.
- Never scold or punish your pet.
- For safety, your dog and your new baby should never be left alone together.
Watch your dog’s behavior closely and go slowly. In no time, your dog and your new baby will be acclimated to each other, and with your loving guidance and preparation, will soon begin a beautiful relationship that can last a lifetime. If you have any concerns, please call us.
Congratulations on your growing family, from all of us at Schertz Animal Hospital!