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Introducing Your Dog to Your New Baby

Before you were pregnant, your dog received most of your quality attention.  Now that you are bringing a new baby home, you don’t want your dog to feel left out or unloved.  You don’t want your dog to act out by pooping in the house or in the nursery.  You definitely do not want your […]

babies-imagedog-baby Before you were pregnant, your dog received most of your quality attention.  Now that you are bringing a new baby home, you don’t want your dog to feel left out or unloved.  You don’t want your dog to act out by pooping in the house or in the nursery.  You definitely do not want your dog to take his hurt feelings out on your baby.   Your dog is a pack animal, and you are leader of that pack.  It is important to make sure your dog doesn’t feel threatened by the new member of your pack, your new baby.

There are a few things you can do before baby is born and when you bring your bundle of joy home to help your canine babies adjust to life with a new family member.  Here are some of the best tips we could find on preparing and introducing your dog to your tiny, new family member.

Start altering your routine gradually before the baby arrives.  Start spending less time petting and giving attention now.   You don’t want your dog to associate less attention with the new baby. Practice introducing the new baby with a plastic doll.  Hold the plastic baby with doggy around, and share time with baby and canine baby.

Before the baby comes home, have someone bring something that smells like your new baby, a blanket or hat that has been worn by the baby, to the dogs.  This way they will not have a sensory overload when the baby comes home!  Do not allow him to play with the blanket or hat.  He should only be allowed to sniff it. When you get home for the first time with your new baby, remember your dog will want your full attention. It may be helpful to have someone else hold your baby so you can greet your canine baby. Set firm ground rules, such as no pawing or nuzzling the baby.  Give him treats around your new baby so he associates baby with good things.

Praise him for good behavior. Make sure to still include your dog in walks and family time.  Remember, he was a member of your pack first.

Most importantly, never leave your dog and baby alone.  Your dog may not mean to, but he could still hurt baby.

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Closeup of a couple embracing the mother’s pregnant belly.