Dogs are typically more than just pets in most families. They are cherished and appreciated fur babies. It follows that a dog may find the arrival of a new infant in the family to be highly perplexing.
Suddenly, the puppy is no longer the center of attention for his family and a new boisterous animal has moved in. You should take the following actions to assist your dog in adjusting to the new person living in your home.
Please read: THE ZODIAC SIGNS OF YOUR DOG
Your baby could be at risk if your dog is boisterous and/or disobedient. Reinforce whatever previous training your dog may have received right away, or engage a trainer to teach your dog the fundamentals of obedience.
When you learn you are pregnant:
It’s time to enroll your dog in a basic obedience class if he hasn’t already. When you’re eight months pregnant or holding a baby in your arms, behavior that currently seems innocent like jumping up to welcome you at the door might become problematic. A teacher can assist in resolving that.
Many dogs have never previously been around kids. Little people behave in ways that adults do not, including making rapid movements, shrieking, and approaching dogs. Take your pet to the park to get him used to kids and see how he responds to them up close, advises Stilwell. If your mom’s friends have children in strollers, ask them if you can walk close to them or, if everything goes well, beside them. Your dog will become gradually accustomed to the sight and sound of kids using these techniques.
Prior to the baby’s arrival
Make careful to show your dog any new baby goods you bring into the house, such as car seats and cribs. While taking your dog for a walk, it’s a good idea to practice pushing a stroller so that she can get acclimated to it.
In order for the family pet to acquire accustomed to these weird, new sounds that will soon be in the home, some owners also like to play recordings of baby noises, such as crying or cooing.
Review or impart some fundamental commands.
When your baby is born, your hands will be utterly occupied. Therefore, it will be quite beneficial if your dog can recognize simple cues without your involvement physically. The co-founder of Dog Meets Baby and professional dog trainer Dominika Knossalla suggests reviewing or imparting five fundamental commands:
- Enter cue (teaching your dog to go to a certain location)
- Away (training your dog to move away from you and the baby or location) (teaching your dog to move away from you and the baby or area)
- Let it go
- Up and down (if you have stairs within your home, be sure to train your dog to ascend and descend them before you, as well as the command “stay,” to prevent them from tripping you up when you are carrying your child).
Promote tranquil, constructive associations
Dogs learn through association, therefore it’s crucial to incorporate your dog’s emotions into training sessions. “Dogs continually associate things, and these connections shape how they see their environment and everything in it.
Make sure that everything related to the infant is peaceful and positive.
It’s possible that you’ve heard the advice to bring a blanket or other item with your baby’s scent on it home from the hospital before the baby is born. In that case, go ahead and do it (some parents may find it hard to manage this logistically). Praise your dog after letting him respectfully sniff the object without biting it. You might also want to introduce your dog to some of the other baby products that have a distinctive smell in order to create positive associations.
If not introduced carefully, changes to the home’s layout and baby equipment (particularly equipment that moves and produces noises) may have a negative effect on the dog, according to Knossalla. Introduce musical toys, baby furniture, and other baby stuff one at a time when your house is completely set up.
Alter your surroundings and habit in advance.
“Dogs are very sensitive to environmental changes and moving things, especially anything that modifies the human form,” explains Jessica Gore, animal behaviorist, certified professional dog trainer, and creator of Competent Pup. “Get your dog acquainted to all these new baby things well in advance. They can be intrigued or afraid about it.”
It’s best to be safe than sorry in this situation because some dogs are quite sensitive to these changes while others don’t care at all. The dog’s life should ideally only experience the baby as an abrupt alteration. Before the new family member arrives home, it is advisable to implement new habits, introduce the baby’s gear, and rearrange the house.
The purpose of bringing in the equipment in advance, according to experts, is to allow the dog time to adapt and become comfortable with something that may otherwise be frightening.
Don’t have irrational expectations.
It’s simple for us to daydream about the meeting of our infant and pets, seeing how they would instantly click and develop a lifelong friendship. You shouldn’t anticipate that kind of relationship to develop quickly, even though it is entirely possible.
How to bring your dog home with your infant?
Prior to bringing the new infant inside, you should:
- Ask a relative or acquaintance to bring something the baby has worn so your dog can smell it.
- So that he would be exhausted and in a peaceful mood when you bring the infant into the house, ask someone to take your dog for a long walk.
- Put the dog on a leash so that you can quickly gain control of her if she becomes agitated or overly eager.
Some experts advise the mother to let someone else carry the child inside so she can first say hello to the dog. After this initial introduction, the mother can sit down with the child and have the dog brought over to her for a meeting.
Every dog responds to the arrival of a baby differently. Those who are enthusiastic may want to lick and sniff the infant. Other dogs can be wary of the baby or even growl at it.
Do not push the matter if your dog doesn’t seem at ease with the baby. Instead, wait until your dog has gotten used to the thought of a newborn in the house before attempting a new introduction.
Purchase pet insurance as an additional safety measure to cover your financial obligations to your dog in the event of any unforeseen circumstances at home.