Adding a new baby to the household is an exciting time! But what if you have dogs? How can you ensure a positive outcome when bringing your new baby home when you have dogs?
Should You Give Up Your Dog for Your Baby?
Let’s talk about the elephant in the room! Do you have to rehome your dog if a baby is on the way? Absolutely not! What’s more, we hope you don’t!
Sadly, many dogs are surrendered to shelters and rescues when a baby is on the way. This is exactly what happened to Smiley, a pit bull in Brooklyn. Thankfully, he was saved from being euthanized by a woman who saw his story on Facebook. But Smiley’s story could have had a tragic end.
Please, don’t break your dog’s heart by suddenly giving him away because you are expecting a new bundle of joy. Your dog trusts you to look out for his best interests and not abandon him when life changes. Pets do not understand why they are being abandoned and it can set up fear and anxiety issues for the rest of their life.
What should you do when you’re expecting a new child? It’s all in the preparation beforehand to ensure a happy and positive outcome!
Keep reading to learn more below.
BEFORE Baby Comes Home
Set your dog up for success by taking the time in making your home a safe and loving environment for the new child and your dog! Just like you take the time to baby-proof your home, also make sure to prepare your dog.
Help support your dog to adjust to the new arrival without stress, fear or jealousy. (Like you would help children already in the home understand a new baby will be joining the family.) Never assume things will just work out without some preparations!
Video: 3 Tips for Introducing your Dog to Your New Baby
HOW to Prepare Fido for the New Baby: 6 Tips
The six tips below can help you prepare your dog for the new arrival. Start working with these suggestions as soon as you know you are pregnant so your family dog has plenty of time to adjust.
- Is your dog a jumper or unable to settle down? Start training your dog to reliably sit or lay down calmly on command. You’ll also want to brush up on “sit” and “come” and to also give you and the baby plenty of space (a sign of respect). Involve the whole family so the commands and expectations are consistent.
- If your dog has not yet been neutered, get it done before the baby’s arrival to help make your dog calmer.
- Does your dog exhibit fear or anxiety? Seek out a local dog expert and together work on any negative behaviors. You’ll also strengthen your bond with him!
- Consider using baby gates and/or a dog crate to protect your new baby, especially while your dog is adjusting. Gates and crates still allow the dog to be part of the family while protecting everyone.
- Have friends with infants? Invite them over to slowly acclimate your dog to the new sights, sounds and smells. Use lots of praise and treats to create a positive experience for your canine!
- Finally, if you are anxious about bringing home your new baby around your dog, again work with a local expert to put your mind at ease! Remember, dogs read our body language and energy and if you’re anxious or stressed, your dog will pick up on it which could lead to problems.
Congratulations on your new arrival and remember, always supervise all pet and infant interactions! By doing so along with the tips above, your dog will become your child’s first best friend in no time!
Call us today for more information!