Need help preparing a dog for a baby? Learn tips on introducing your dog to your newborn and ways to improve the connection between dogs and babies over time.
Find out what foods you can cook for a pet and those you should avoid.
Caring for a dog is similar to raising kids. The difference between the two is independence. A child will be able to care for themselves as they get older. However, a dog will continue to rely on you for care.
Oftentimes, people treat their pups as a child and this can become an issue when the pet is no longer the center of a person’s universe.
Expecting parents often question how their pet will get along with their baby. Introducing your dog to your newborn has much to do with the initial interaction.
Before The Baby Arrives
If you allow the dog to jump on the bed or sofa, it’s important to understand some basic hygiene. Although pet hair can be helpful in developing a child’s antibodies, it’s not a good idea to have the pup jump on couches or the bed.
Setting rules like this can also avoid your pet from potentially landing on top of the baby or bring any insects or unwanted bugs by the child.
Regardless of how well-trained your dog might be, there are things to consider when introducing your dog to your newborn.
Dedicating time to a pet before the baby arrives is always a good idea. This will help ensure the pup understands what’s expected of them. For instance, if you have a morning schedule together, it’s important to keep that routine.
Life at home is going to change with the new addition, and if you continue to make time for the dog then it’ll be much easier to adjust to the differences.
Think of the pup as another child. You should always make time for family members.
After Your Child Is Born
Setting up rules before the baby arrives is just as important as when they’re finally here. Think about the ways you can begin introducing your dog to your newborn before you even head home.
Bring things from the hospital.
Dogs understand pregnancy more than we know. However, it can be confusing to them when you go missing for a couple of days for labor and delivery.
To help our dogs understand why we hadn’t been home, my husband would keep the first pieces of clothing placed on the baby. These items come in handy when introducing your dog to your newborn.
Make them feel special.
It doesn’t take much to get a dog’s tail wagging. A walk at their favorite park or a walk around the block is all they need to feel loved.
Giving them a treat or making them their favorite peanut butter cookies is always a good idea.
Keep their routine.
Some people think that spending extra time with their pup before their baby arrives will help them not feel jealous. Honestly, this isn’t how you should approach time with your dog.
Give your dog the same amount of time you did before you were expecting a baby. Keeping their daily routine helps them understand we’re adding to our family, not subtracting.
Teach them to respect one another.
Introducing your dog to your newborn can be exciting. As time goes on, there are other factors that come into play. Just as you’d like the dog to respect the baby, it’s important that you teach the child to respect the pup.
Gently petting the dog and learning to care for each other is how the child will develop compassion for animals. This is important for them to understand as they continue to grow.
With time, you’ll notice just how similar kids and pets can be with lots of training and treats. Always offer treats as a reward. It works on both the child and the dog.
Things You Can Expect When Introducing Your Dog To Your Newborn
Understanding the connection between kids and dogs can be seen as a wolf pack. Most of the bigger pups will always protect the smaller ones.
When a pet is protective of a child, it often means they care and respect them as their own. However, there are times when this isn’t the case.
There are signs to watch out for when introducing a pet to your newborn. Below are 3 warning signs from the American Kennel Club (AKC).
Snapping and growling are normal warning signs from canines.
Be sure that your child isn’t pulling your pup’s ears or tail. Teach the child what it means to be gentle.
Give the pup space.
Every pup has its limit. Just because the pet isn’t reacting right away, it doesn’t mean the pup doesn’t like the action/behavior. Pay attention to what is being done. Some pups are traumatized from encounters with children.
Never leave a child and a pet alone.
No matter how trusting a pup might be, it’s best to keep an eye on their interaction. This will help enforce a child should behave around a pup.