It’s no secret that often, dogs are our very first babies!. Many people feel as if their pets are part of the family, and it is common for us to feel as if our pets are our first babies. It is not uncommon for families to worry about how their furry friends will adjust to a new baby in the home. Today we are here to talk about Dogs and babies 101.
Preparation is key
There is so much to prepare for before the birth of your baby, and while we know that it may seem silly to prepare pets for the transition, it can be hugely beneficial to everyone in the household, including your fur baby.
Consider additional training- Additional training from a dog trainer can help to ensure that your pup will be on good behavior when your baby arrives home. Has your dog continuously barked loudly at people passing, jumped when they saw their family, or had accidents inside? Having a trainer work with your dog can help make sure they are on their best behavior come baby.
Establish any new rules ahead of time- If you plan to change a piece of their routine and establish new boundaries, we highly suggest doing so soon. Creating new rules before your baby is home can help ensure that they don’t become jealous of your little one. Are there rooms in your house that they’ve had access to that they will no longer be allowed in? Establish these boundaries during pregnancy so that your dog is already adjusted to them once your baby is home.
Transition their routine- Are you the primary dog walker in your home but know that once you are postpartum, someone else will need to take over those duties temporarily? Or do you handle puppy snuggles in the evening? It is beneficial to make any changes that may happen once your new baby has arrived ahead of time while you are still pregnant to avoid any jealousy from your pet.
Once your baby has arrived.
Congratulations! Your baby has arrived, and as you prepare to return home, you may be thinking more about the introduction with your pets. Here are some helpful tips for transitioning your pet into life with a baby at home.
Get them used to the scents- Dogs rely heavily on their smell, so getting them used to your baby’s scent before you bring your baby home can help them feel already familiar with their newest family member.
Greet them first- When you arrive home, your pet will be excited to see you! Try to have your partner hold your baby and greet them first. After your pet has calmed down, you can move on to the introductory stage.
Let them come to you- When you are ready to let your baby and dog meet for the first time, let your animal come to you while you are holding your baby. They should approach you!
Supervise all interactions– It is recommended to supervise all interactions with your dogs and newborn until your baby is older. Dogs get excited!
Tying it together
Introducing your pet and a new baby can feel a bit nerve-wracking. There may be a lot of thoughts going on in your head, such as; “what if our fur baby feels replaced?” “Will they be gentle enough with the baby?” Or simply, “How are we going to care for a dog and a baby?” These are all common worries that pet parents have before this transition! Just like older siblings, animals adjust! We hope that some of the tips listed above help ensure that your fur baby and baby become the best of friends one day! Congratulations.Thank you for reading this week’s blog, dogs and babies 101. For more helpful tips on all things pregnancy, parenthood, and postpartum, visit our weekly blog.