Bringing home a new baby to your fur baby can be stressful, but these tips for how to introduce the new baby to your dog can make the transition a smooth one.
Tips for Fido
- Set Boundaries Early- The best way to ease the transition of a new baby joining the family is to make sure your dog understands that you are the leader of the household. If he hasn’t gone through dog training, it’s never too late. Establish a safe place for your dog to go if he is overstimulated, like a dog bed, laundry room or crate. Dogs are happiest in a home with structure, so laying down expectations now can ease those first few months.
- Start With Baby’s Scent– First introduce a baby blanket to Fido, so he can sniff the item. Make it clear this this is “yours” and you are allowing him to smell.
- Wear Him Out- Before you introduce the new baby to your dog, take him on a long walk or throw balls. Dogs respond to training better after exercise. You want Fido to be calm when you enter the house with the new baby. He probably hasn’t had much attention the last few days and may be full of energy. Now is a good time to give him some much needed exercise.
- Slow Introduction– Allow your dog to sniff the baby, but from a safe distance while you hold her. Do not bring your baby up to the dog’s face. Make the first encounter brief and relaxed. Your mood sets the tone for your dog’s temperament.
- Never leave baby and dog unattended- No matter the breed, it is never safe to leave an infant or small child alone with the family dog. Babies are loud, babies smell funny, and they change the dynamics of the house. Establish ground rules in the home. Learn to recognize the signs that your dog may need a break from the baby.
Download our How to Introduce the New Baby to Your Dog PDF to keep on hand. Check out our other blog posts about preparing for your new arrival!