A baby’s arrival is one of the happiest moments a family can experience. Everything is filled with joy and happiness. However, if you have a dog at home, a baby’s arrival can be disturbing and upsetting for him: A new human with new smells, habits, and a new routine.
Here are some tips you can implement to ensure your dog will also be comfortable and happy with the arrival of the new family member.
Before your baby’s arrival:
1. Make new rules.
If your household routine is going to change due to the arrival of the baby, then you should change it beforehand to give your dog the chance to get used to it. E.g., if your dog used to sleep in your bed and now, you’d like him to sleep in his own bed, then put it in practice asap. Remember to be patient as changes are difficult for everyone, including your dog.
2. Give your pup extra attention
Adjusting yourself to your new life and the new baby is a full-time job. I know that. But bear in mind it’s essential to give your dog extra love during these first couple of days! Dogs can feel jealous of the new member of the family, so if you leave them aside when your baby arrives, they will immediately feel neglected, and this feeling can turn into negative behavior. It’s important to show him you still love him as much as humanly possible, and through that love remind him that nobody can ever replace him.
3. Get him a blanket with your baby’s smell
This is one of the oldest hacks, but still effective. The action is simple: get a blanket your baby has used for at least one or two days, take it to your dog and leave it there for him to sniff. He will smell it relentlessly, dogs explore the world through their noses, so getting him acquainted with your baby’s smell is essential to creating a bond with him/her.
4. Train him before baby's arrival
Training is an essential part of your dog’s life, especially when you introduce big changes to his routine. First of all, brush up on his former skills. If your dog behaves correctly around your baby, treat him! It is very important to reward your dog’s positive responses and behaviors to show him he is doing a great job being a big brother/sister. As a response, your pup will feel more appreciated and less jealous.
5. Keep calm
When your baby enters the house, keep calm. Dogs are very intelligent animals and they can read your body language. If you get nervous, scared, or worried, they will notice something unusual is going on and they can have an off response.
Depending on your dog’s behavior, it may be necessary to leash him up to control his reaction.
‘A baby’s arrival can be overwhelming for a dog: Make sure to set new rules beforehand, give him special attention, and treat him when he is behaving correctly around your baby’
When you arrive home with your baby, your dog must be there. It is important for your pup to be present at the baby’s arrival and be a part of it, otherwise, he will come home to a complete stranger.
6. Be patient!
Your dog and your baby will eventually get along, but you need to be patient. A baby's arrival will change your house dynamic, and your dog will probably need some time and space to adjust and get used to it. Throughout the process, treat him and give him extra love and cuddles (Easy peasy, right? :))