I am bringing my infant home, should I do anything to prepare my dog?

Dogs have a pretty stable home life. They see, hear, and smell the same things on a regular basis. However, bring home a new baby and it creates a whole new world of smells and sounds to adjust to. Your dog may begin to feel neglected because they will not be receiving the same amount of attention they are accustomed to. With careful planning and training even the most stubborn or pampered dog will ease into a new life with a baby. Too many changes too fast could stress out your dog.

Your pet should associate good things with the baby. Once you have your baby’s room all set up allow you pet to go into the room. If you don’t want your pet jumping onto the baby’s bed now is the time to train it not to. In case you don’t want your pet inside the room put up a fence or screen so they can still see inside the room. This should be done well before baby comes. Dogs must adjust to being away from you for a greater amount of time. If you are planning to separate the dog from areas of the house you are commonly in make sure they have enough food, water, and toys. Never leave them in a dark basement or cold garage. This is not only mean but will also stress out your dog. Carrying a baby doll around with you or placing it in the crib will help your pet get use to the idea of a baby. When the real one comes they will already be used to seeing a baby. Before you bring your baby into the house introduce the scent of him/her to your pet by allowing them to sniff a blanket with their scent on it. If your pet gets too excited, rather than punishing them, simply take your baby away until they calm down.

Good adjustment to first baby doesn’t always mean a good adjustment to the next. Always take these precautions when introducing a new baby to the home. Always be present when your pet and baby are together in same area. Sometimes cats sit on faces and dogs have bad reactions to a baby’s quick movements. Have a well thought out plan when getting your pet used to a new schedule. They may be sad at the lack of attention they’ll receive. After all they’re not an only child anymore.

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