Bringing Home Baby: Preparing To Introduce Your Dog To Baby
Your dog has essentially been your baby or at least “one of the kids” since she came into your home; there are a lot of things that you can do to make the introduction of the newest family member an easier experience for everyone.
Train your pet for your spaces: Get a baby doll that is approximately the size of a real baby. Start carrying the doll with you in the house in areas that you would go with the baby. Let your dog observe sitting down in your favorite chair, rocking in a rocking chair, holding the baby in your arms, putting the baby in an infant tub, simulating diaper changes, etc. Train your pet with treats to sit by your side quietly, versus hopping in your lap like she may be accustomed to doing. You may also choose to place a little baby oil, lotion, or powder on yourself and the doll so that your dog gets used to some of the scents associated with having a baby.
Define “baby only” area: If there is a “baby only” area, show your dog the space designated for the baby. If the baby’s area is limited to the bed and changing areas, you may choose to place double-sided packing tape on the surfaces that you wish to discourage your dog from jumping up on. If your dog is not allowed in the baby’s room at all, put up a see-through baby gate so that she may still investigate what goes on in the room, but will get the message that she is not supposed to enter.
Desensitize to baby noises:You may invite friends over who have a baby already so that your dog can see the baby and hear the range of cries, squeaks, gurgles, and coos that a baby makes. You can also play recordings of baby noises to introduce your dog to them. You can turn on the swing, activate the mobile, use the baby monitor and turn on toys that make a variety of unfamiliar noises.
Remember that introducing a new baby is a busy and stressful time for everyone, including your fur kid. Your dog will be happier and understand more when your new bundle of joy arrives if she is familiar with the different changes that will happen once baby comes home.