It is magical for a family when a new baby arrives. A new chapter begins for everyone, even for our four legged family members.
We all need to prepare for such a great event, but a mother and father have at least 9 months to prepare. Our pet dog feels that something is in the air, but of course it can’t understand exactly what’s happening.
Here are some tips on how to make the process as smooth as possible:
– Sniff the baby cloth:
Bring home a cloth or item from the hospital that contains your baby’s smell. You let the dog sniff it but not play with it or take it away; you need to communicate that it belongs to us. In this way, the dog can become familiar with the scent of the baby, but it also starts to build respect for the new arrival.
– Establish rules around the baby:
Once you have brought home your new baby, you should teach your dog its limits. It is good to start in the nursery room before the baby’s arrival home. You can allow to your dog to enter the nursery room and sniff around only under your supervision, so it understands the space should be respected.
The dog should be walked before the introduction, so its energy is released and it is as calm as it can be.
Whoever holds the baby should be completely calm, so the dog doesn’t feel any unnecessary tension.
The dog should be allowed to sniff the baby but from a reasonable distance. The best is if the dog and baby are not too close for the first time. This helps the dog to respect the baby.
– Your dog should still be an important part of the family:
Don’t forget about your dog, which means you should maintain the daily routine. This helps the dog to feel secure and accept the new situation.
You can reward your pet with treats for its nice behaviour, so you are encouraging associating the baby with a positive feeling.
– Teach your child:
Teaching your child how to act with a dog and how to respect it can’t start too early. As soon as your child begins to interact with the dog, explain and show how to behave appropriately with a dog. As a dog should be supervised on how to behave with children, your child has to be supervised to ensure it treats the dog properly.
Children have to learn how to behave with dogs as we discussed in the previous blog post:
– Babies safety first:
Dogs always need to be supervised. Never leave your baby alone with the dog, not even for one minute. A dog can become agitated by the sounds or actions of the baby; you can’t be sure about the dog’s reaction so never leave them together unsupervised.
Life after a new baby becomes hectic, but trying to maintain a routine as regular as possible helps the dog adjust to the new situation.
With care, supervision and a little bit of preparation, you can live together safely and happily as one loving family.