Congratulations you’re expecting a new baby soon. Some dog owners have anxiety about bringing home a baby to a house with a pet in it. And wonder how the pet will react or if he will hurt the baby. Before you bring the baby home here are some basic ideas that will help ease the transition:
Introduce the baby’s scent. While the baby is at the hospital it is a good idea to first bring an item that contains your baby’s scent, such as a burp cloth or blanket. You’ll want to set boundaries when introducing the article. Challenge the dog to sniff from a distance, while you are holding the item, “This new item belongs to me, and you will need to follow my rules when around it.”
Make sure your dog knows his place. Before the baby arrives, start containing your dog to an area instead of let him have rein of the house. Make sure that he has his own space to play with toys and make the nursery off-limits. Condition your dog to understand that there is an invisible barrier that he may not cross without your permission
Control the introduction. Before the baby arrives be sure to exercise your dog and drain him of his energy. While he is out bring the baby in, have the wait at the door step; make sure your dog is in a calm-submissive state before inviting her in. Calmly allow the dog to sniff the baby, but at a respectful distance. Don’t push the first meeting; do not bring the baby too close.
Don’t forget the dog. The most important thing to your dog is that you maintain the routine, providing daily walks, feeding time and consistent leadership. If you plan on changing your dog’s routine, start the transition before the baby arrives. This will help your dog feel secure and allow her to relax about the new addition to the family.
Your child’s safety comes first. If, after working with a professional and on your own, you are still not 100% confident about the safety of your baby with your dog, then finding your dog another home to protect the well-being of your child and pet is a step you may have to take.
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