Your dog is your baby, until you have a baby. People always say that after you have a child, Fido takes the back seat in your life. It’s no doubt that when you give birth to your own flesh and blood, the love for your baby can eclipse the connection you have with your dog. But that doesn’t mean you love their furry face any less.
When you bring that bundle of joy home from the hospital, you will have the opportunity to introduce your pup to your newborn. This can be a beautiful experience, but there are some precautions to take. Dogs are full of love and sometimes they don’t know that throwing that love right at you isn’t the safest way to express themselves. Excitability and curiosity are things your pooch feels when they meet new people and smell new things. Your baby smells different than anything your dog has ever smelled. Chances are they will want to investigate that. Here are a few things you need to know before you introduce your dog to your new baby.
As your baby grows inside of you during pregnancy, your tail-wagger is sensing things are not the same as they were before. They don’t know what is going to happen, but they do know that change is coming. Dogs are very trainable, so take those nine months to fine tune their behavior commands. Really work with them on not jumping up, as their paws can be dangerous to a baby. Make sure they know when to heel and are actively listening to you. Keep the nursery off limits for now; teach them that there are boundaries in the house that must be respected. This can be a huge jumpstart into making your hound receptive to a safe baby-dog relationship.
The Meet & Greet
Your number one concern in this event is the safety of your newborn child. As instinctual as this might be, keep in mind that your dog has sharp claws and jaws that could fatally injure your newborn. Before the introduction, make sure your dog has had a long walk and worked off most of their energy. Let them sniff a onesie with your baby’s scent on it before returning to the house. As they calmly walk through the door with you, they will immediately know there is something new about it. Because they are already familiar with the scent, the introduction with go smoother.
The most likely occurrence during the meet and greet is that your dog will sniff and probably lick your baby’s face. Once they have explored the smell of your swaddled mini, they might accept the new addition and look to you for attention per usual. Some dogs take it upon themselves to protect and nurture your baby, this is something incredibly special.
For your kid to have a relationship with your dog is really something amazing. Remember to supervise their interactions, and keep safety a top priority.
Written By Dani Haberly