Having a new baby is an exciting time in your life, it is also utterly exhausting. Your dog will have to make adjustments too, there are new people, new smells and new sounds all of which can be overwhelming. Introducing your pup to the new baby can help pave the way for a lifelong friendship Here are some tips on a smooth transition.
Get the House Ready
This is good for both you and your dog, set up your crib and nursery furniture as soon as possible and give your dog time to adjust. You can get your dog used to walking with you and a stroller as soon as possible. Make sure they get to check out all of the new smells beforehand and let them check out the nursery so that when the baby does come they are not overwhelmed with new sights, sounds and smells.
Socialize Your Dog
Babies are noisy and that can be a big adjustment for you and your dog. Your dog should be socialized from the time they are a pup but if they aren’t you should make the effort to socialize your dog. Take your dog to the playground or to a friend’s place with children to see how they interact with kids and if you have to be cautious about.
Teach Your Dog to be Independent
Dogs are social creatures and will spend all of their time with you if they can. When the new baby comes that won’t really be possible. Do you have family members who can also bond with your dog and take them for walks. When you know that you’re bringing your baby home from the hospital have a friend or family member take your dog for a walk first to burn off some energy.
Once you bring the baby home your dog will be excited to see both of you. The time has come to finally introduce your dog to your child so you may want to do it slowly. Let your dog come to you and check out both of you. Have treats on hand so you can reward good behavior and if you think it is necessary have another person handy to intervene if needed. Be wary of punishing your dog you don’t want them to associate your baby with punishments. You want to create a positive experience instead.
This is going to be a learning experience for you and your dog so have some patience but at the same time don’t tolerate any aggressive behavior at all.