It’s the big day! Time to bring baby home!
And time for your dog to meet your little one!
What can you do to make the first introduction go smoothly?
The most important thing to remember is to be calm. Dogs can sense when you or others are agitated or anxious and they react accordingly. Staying calm and relaxed will help your dog feel the same.
Make sure the dog has had exercise and is fed. Have someone take the dog for a good long walk and feed the dog before you get home. This releases excess energy and puts him in a calmer mood.
When you bring the baby home, let the dog come into the area where you and the baby are. Don’t make either one them the center of attention, and don’t allow the dog to come too close on the first encounter. Watch your dog and read his body language. If he shows signs of anxiety or is uncomfortable, it might be good to try again later.
Don’t put your dog away. Reassure him that he will not be abandoned by the pack and that he is still part of the family. Maintain his normal routine, but make sure he understands his boundaries. Have lots of baby gates to avoid mishaps.
If you’ve spent time getting to know your dog and training him, introducing baby items to the home, and setting boundaries, the introduction should go well.
Remember that dogs can be unpredictable and need to be supervised when around your baby. It’s never a good idea to leave them alone together.
As your child gets older, they can learn to help feed and take care of the dog. They should be taught to be gentle around the dog, staying away from them when they are eating and sleeping, and having boundaries with the dog’s toys. Teaching your child to respect your dog can help keep them safe.
If you have any questions or concerns, be sure to reach out to a professional dog trainer.