4 Steps for Introducing Your Dog to a New Baby
Let your pup explore new things
Your house is likely going to be filled with all sorts of strange new objects such as strollers, high chairs, baby toys etc. Give your dog a chance to get used to them all before the baby arrives by encouraging them to sniff and explore them.
Review or teach basic commands.
Some key behaviors you should make sure you’d dog knows are: Leave it, drop, and a place command. You’ll want to make sure they know how to “leave it” so that when things accidentally drop on the floor you don’t have to worry about them taking something they shouldn’t. Drop is also very important so that if they do happen to grab something they shouldn’t, they give it back when asked. There are many benefits to a place command- it can help keep them out of the way if they’re underfoot, help teach them to settle and give them somewhere to go if things get chaotic.
Take introductions slow
When you finally bring your baby home, take things slow. Greet your dog first before bringing the baby in- I’m sure they’ve missed you and are SO excited to see you after you’ve spent a few days in the hospital. Dogs feed off your emotions, so try to stay calm and relaxed when bringing your new baby inside and allowing your dog to sniff them the first time. Make sure each interaction is supervised, no matter how well you trust your pup.
Make Special time for just you and you dog.
A lot of your attention will understandably be shifted towards caring for you’re newborn baby when you first come home. New routines will take form and it’ll be an adjustment for everyone- your dog included. Try to do small activities that you can still involve your dog in, like walks around the block etc. Also try to spend some one on one time with them… whether this is just cuddling on the couch, training them or even playing fetch in the yard. Make sure they’re still getting love during a big transition in their lives too.
The days are long but the years are short- enjoy watching your baby grow and form a relationship with their dog.
This post is written by our friend and influencer, @Kelly_Bove.