New Babies and Existing Pets: How to Manage Introductions

new baby and pet

new baby and petExpecting parents may have many questions about how their dog will respond to a new baby. Will the dog react with jealousy? Will he or she act out with destructive behavior? Will the baby be safe with the dog? Following are some tips for preparing your dog for the arrival of your new baby.

The Practice Baby
The first step is to introduce your dog to a practice baby. A baby doll serves as a good training device for your dog. Let your dog watch as you hold and cradle the baby. Introduce the doll to your dog, giving instructions on how to behave with the “child”.

Setting Up Boarding
You may not know exactly when the baby is coming, but you should have a rough idea. Contact your doggy daycare to discuss options for last minute boarding. Giving the dog some time away from home while you settle in with your new baby can be beneficial for everyone.

The Baby Blanket
A standard practice for new parents is to supply their dog with a blanket or other piece of clothing material that smells like the new baby. If you choose to do this, be careful to only allow your dog to smell the blanket. Do not let your dog play with or chew the blanket, otherwise there may be some confusion of its purpose.

When the time comes, introduce your baby slowly. Have your dog on a leash, held by another person, while you hold your baby. You must be able to quickly remove the dog if he or she becomes aggressive or overly playful. Keep introductions short at first, and then steady lengthen them as your dog feels more at ease with the new family member.

Safety Measures
Never leave your baby and dog alone together, even for a moment. What may seem like playtime to your dog could be disastrous. Make sure to keep all baby supplies out of reach, especially those new items that can be swallowed and clog the intestinal tract. Likewise, as your baby begins to crawl, make sure all dog treats, toys, shampoos, and medicine are locked away in a safe location.

If you have questions about how to best handle your pet when a new baby is on the way, please call us at 858-490-2117 for tips. Set up your boarding today with Fon Jon Pet Care. We have over 30 years of experience providing dogs with high quality boarding and training. We are happy to work with you when you have a new addition to your family.