You’ve just introduced a new member to the family, only this time, it doesn’t have a tail and two floppy ears: you’ve had a real-life human baby!
But now, what about Fido? How will you handle the awkward introductions, and what if Fido isn’t as keen on this new family member as you are?
New parents around the world face this dilemma. Introducing a pet to a baby can be a stressful experience for all involved. If your pet isn’t familiar with babies and children, there’s no knowing how your pet will react to your baby.
And even the most docile pets can have an adverse reaction to a baby or child – just a word of warning. So how do you introduce your dog to your new baby in the best possible way?
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Tips for Introducing Baby and Your Dog
The real work should begin before the arrival of your new bundle of joy. But don’t worry if you’ve already got a baby in your arms while you’re reading this.
There’s still time to set the scene for a beautiful relationship between your baby and your pet. Below are a few tips for you to follow according to Calming Dog.
1. Establish New Routines Early
Dogs have their routines, just like we have ours. If you’re used to going to the gym on Tuesdays and Thursdays and suddenly the gym is closed all week, and you can’t get your exercise fix, how do you feel? You probably feel frustrated and annoyed.
On the other hand, Fido probably has some pretty regular routines already in place. You can either choose to keep up with his routines of regular walks, playtime, sleeping in the bed with you, and so on.
Or you can start adjusting your pet’s routines ahead of time. If walk time will have to change, implement the change slowly a few months before your new baby is born.
This gives Fido time to adopt a new way of living and doesn’t associate the sudden change in his routine with the new baby.
2. Let Your Dog Explore Baby Stuff
Babies come with noise, strange equipment items (imagine how a dog tries to make sense of a high chair), squeaky and rattly toys, and a whole host of new cuddly blankets and toys.
If you don’t introduce your dog to these things slowly, you may mistake his interest in all these news things as intent to get a little too obnoxious with the baby. so, these are the best dog car seat covers are reviewed in details for you to choose best.
When the baby arrives, let Fido smell the blanket. Introduce Fido to the toys and let your pet sniff around the new equipment.
Don’t rush or chase your pet away. It’s a learning experience for the whole family.
3. Adjust Your Attitude
Dogs are sensitive beings and can tell more about you and how you feel than you think. If you’re nervous and on edge, because you’re worried about what your dog will do, your dog will feed off it and be anxious too. And nervous dogs don’t always have the best reactions. Be calm, be firm, and be confident. You are the pack leader, and your dog should sense that.
4. Set the Scene for a Loving First Introduction
Keeping your pet and baby separate doesn’t make sense unless you know that your pet is very aggressive and boisterous. If you’re going to introduce your baby and dog, it’s best to follow a strategic approach.
For starters, excitable and energy-riddled dogs are more boisterous than is acceptable around a newborn. Take your pet for a walk or do some high-energy exercise before you do the introduction.
Tire your dog out so that his excitement and energy levels are under control.
Next, clip your pet onto a leash just for a bit of extra control. Then, do the introduction slowly. Make sure that you are in a position to move swiftly if you need to, without your stance being aggressive. Finally, speak to your dog in a loving and encouraging voice, making the entire experience one filled with comfort and acceptance.
Allow your dog to sniff your new baby from a distance at first. Then, gradually, with each new day, allow your pet to get a little closer. Reward good and calm behavior. This is something you want to encourage.
5. Lavish Your Dog With Love
Babies come along, and suddenly there’s no time for anything other than diapers, baby tunes, and sneaky naps when nobody else is watching. But what this spells for Fido is loneliness and a lack of love. So, make an effort to show your dog as much love as possible when you’ve brought a new baby home.
You want your pet to feel secure in his family position and know that even though there’s someone new to love, there’s enough love to go around. Dogs thrive on love and attention.
6. Teach Your Baby How to Treat Your Dog
Time and again, parents make the mistake of allowing their growing baby to disrespect their dog. If your small child is pulling your dog’s hair, climbing onto your pet’s back, or kicking your pet, the chances are that your dog isn’t enjoying it.
Many dogs are calm enough to let it slide, but that type of behavior can become annoying, and your child could end up getting hurt. From a very young age, teach your baby to be very gentle with your dog.
Stroking is allowing, but fur pulling is not. Your baby should also be taught to respect your dog’s personal space – that means, don’t let your baby put their face right into your dog’s face. It’s unpleasant and may evoke an equally unpleasant reaction.
Dogs and babies can live harmoniously together – that’s the good news! How good their relationship will be will come down to how you introduce them and teach them to treat each other. Studies have shown that children growing up with pets are more emotionally balanced – that’s a good reason to emphasize introducing both baby and pet in the best possible way! Good luck.