You have been preparing for this event for at least nine months, or maybe a lifetime, and the day has finally arrived! Congratulations s to your entire family! So, let’s start by saying your dog has some keen senses and most assuredly knows that something has been “brewing” for the last several months. Hopefully, you have been working with your dog to prepare for the arrival of your newborn baby so this shouldn’t be as stressful as had you not.
The very first introduction or meeting between baby and dog MUST be one of ONLY positive, calm vibes. Don’t start off with yelling or “No” or “Get out of Here”. This was your dog’s home long before the baby so work on a kind and calm introduction. Upon arrival, send everyone else into your home before you and baby. This will allow Fido to not only work out all of his normal greeting behavior, but also will allow the scent of your baby to be introduced to your pet. Have a few treats in hand and be ready to pass them off to your pooch while he smells everyone. You can even bring home your baby’s dirty clothes before they come home so your dog can get familiar with this new scent.
NOTE: (We did that for Rocco with Olivia’s clothes. It was hilarious! He sniffed it, backed away, and peed on the floor as to say, “What is that creature?!?” )
When you do bring the baby into your home, make sure you are in control of the situation. It may be a great idea to put a leash on Fido and bring him outdoors for the first meeting. Sit on the patio for a bit, relax and keep it calm. Your dog is going to play off your energy and emotions so no fear, anxiety or stress.
Once the introductions have been made, time for the daily in and outs. Hopefully, you have been working with your dog since you first learned you were expecting so I am sure he is familiar with “stay” and “sit”, knows the boundaries of “out of the baby’s room” and knows when the midnight feeding sessions will occur so this shouldn’t be too stressful after the first few feedings and Fido gets into the routine with you. In fact, the transition will probably go better than you anticipate. Make sure you always keep the good manners top priority for your pet and don’t allow jumping or underfoot activity which can cause injury to you and/or the baby. You might also want to consult with a trainer before you come home to help teach your dog not to bark or howl every time the UPS man comes by with a package. Amazon seems to be a frequent shopping experience for the new Mom’s who don’t have the time to run to the store. Trust me, the prime account comes in real handy!
So, the baby- dog, dog-baby introductions really are not that complicated as long as you stay calm and have prepared ahead of time. Remember – introducing your dog to your baby should be calm, controlled, and cool! Be sure to give both your baby and your dog affection, equally if possible, so that your dog will not feel left out.
Again, Congratulations – the best is yet to be!