Preparing the Dog for Baby
Introducing your family pet to the new family member isn't always the easiest trick in the book.
On my first Mother’s (to-be) Day, my mom gave me a great card proclaiming that I’m a great doggy mom.
My dog has definitely been my baby for the past year, and that’s what worries me as we expect an actual baby to arrive this fall.
Our dog, who is a rescue dog, has become very fond of the attention we give him, and he’s used to being the baby and having my husband and myself.
I think it could be a problem for when the baby arrives, and he’s not the main attraction anymore.
Most things I’ve been reading say that a lot of times, it’s not too much of a problem to introduce a child and a dog. It’s taken time to get used to a number of our family members, and while he’s never bit anyone, he’s not the friendliest of dogs either.
The American Veterinarian Medical Association offers a few good tips for introducing the pet and the baby to one another, including:
- Doing a slow introduction of the baby to the dog. When we arrive home from the hospital, I’ll give him a warm greeting and let him sniff the baby blanket. Then, while he’s on leash, we’ll allow him to smell the baby—toes only.
- Baby gates, baby gates and baby gates. While we don’t know what our house situation will be when the baby arrives, we both agree that keeping the baby safe and the dog safe from the baby will be important.
- Keeping the dog included. When I’m in the nursery, the dog will be allowed to come in and see what’s happening, and he can be around us at all times with the baby. The baby and him will just never be left alone.
One big thing that we’re going to do is to take advantage of classes for pets and babies offered by our medical provider.
The class costs $10, and it teaches parents how to make the transition from a dog household to a baby and dog household. It also teaches parents from the infant stage to the toddler stage.
So, while we’re still figuring this whole thing out, we’re hoping that the dog and the baby will be friends and not mortal enemies.