Dog Meets Baby
Bringing home a newborn means adjustment for your household, since for many couples, their pet may be their first “baby.” Strategies exist to prepare your favorite four-legged friend for the newest two-legged addition to the family.
- Teaching your dog some basic commands before the baby arrives is a good start to a well-mannered pet that will calm around infants. Here are some to practice with:
“come” “Sit” “Down” “Stay”
- If you experience difficulties, consider enrolling in a training class or seeking out a behavior specialist. The time to address behavioral issues is before the baby arrives.
A dog’s primary sense is olfactory, so make sure to introduce baby-related scents. here are some examples:
- Allow your pooch to smell and investigate all the baby gear you buy.
- Wear baby products on your skin. (E.g. baby oil, baby powder)
- Before the newborn is brought home, have someone bring an item with his/her scent for the dog to smell.
baby cries can even be jarring for new parents, so imagine how stressful it can be for an unexpecting animal
To reduce this stress, expose your pet to infant cries long before it hears the real thing. Play sound recordings of baby noises and pair the sound pair the sound of crying with high value treats, thereby creating positive associations.
- Calm Down Your Pet
When you come home from the hospital, remember that you have been gone for several days and your pet will be excited to see you . Spend a few minutes alone with the new older brother or sister before you introduce it to the new baby.
- Supervise Pet-baby Interactions.
Pets should never be left unattended with an infant or small child. Always supervise.
- Reward Pets for Good Behavior.
Reward your pet for being calm and obedient around the baby. You want your pet to associate the baby with positive experiences.