Introducing your pets to new people can be tricky. Things become trickier when that new person is going to become a permanent fixture in your pets’ lives. Being proactive can improve dog behavior with the new baby. Here are a few tips for introducing your dog to your newborn.
First, before bringing your newborn home, get your dog accustomed to the idea of having a newborn around. Though it may sound strange, in the few months before your due date, carry a doll around the house to mimic a newborn — lay it in the crib, baby talk to it, and sit with it. Teach your dog in advance that it can’t jump up onto your lap while you are holding a newborn; teach it not to bother the crib. If you can improve behavior with the doll, you will have a better chance of improving dog behavior with the baby.
Second, designate areas in your house for your newborn; put up baby gates if necessary to ensure your pup will not try to play too hard with your newborn. To prevent messes, put the dog’s bowls up once your baby begins to crawl. By being proactive, you can ensure better dog behavior when the baby arrives.
While you are still in the hospital with your newborn, have somebody close to you bring home one of your newborn’s blankets or recently-worn clothing items for your dog to smell. This way, your dog will get used to the smell of your child. If the dog is already used to the smell before your baby comes home, you will have fewer negative or jealous dog behaviors.
Juggling between your newborn and your pet can be tricky, but make sure your dog has plenty of toys to play with. This way, it won’t snatch the baby’s. Also be sure to give your dog plenty of time outdoors to use up some energy. It will be important that the dog is in a calm state when around the baby, so exercise will be crucial in using up some excess energy.
Finally, start preparing your baby right from the start. Oftentimes, small children have the habit of hitting a pet instead of petting it. Spend time correcting this in your child, showing them how to properly pet an animal. Hopefully, this will prevent any conflicts between the two.
Have you considered hiring a doula to help you prepare for the new baby? Read more HERE.
Stacey Ash is a newborn photographer servicing Columbus, Ohio and surrounding areas with a commercial studio in Powell. To learn more about booking your newborn session visit www.staceyashphoto.com