Dog vs. Baby: What To Know Before Bringing The Two Together
Tips on how to forge together a healthy relationship between pet and baby.
For many people all across the country, their pets are the center of their universe. Whether you need a friendly face to cheer you up at the end of a stressful work day, or just someone to cuddle up with in front of the TV at night, your pet is always there for you and is one of the best friends that you could ever ask for. However, pets can be just as territorial as humans when it comes to introducing a new man or women into our lives―even when that new person is a new baby.
If you are getting ready to welcome a new baby boy or girl into your life (congratulations!), you may be wondering just what that will mean for the relationship between you and your pet. Will it bring out the best in your pet as they affectionately lick your new baby every chance that they can get? Or do you have a feeling that your pet will be betrayed by this new person who is occupying all of your time? Unfortunately, it could go either way depending on the personality of your pet.
Luckily, there are certain precautionary measures that you can take before the big introduction that will help to ensure that everything goes smoothly when it comes time to introduce your pet to your new baby. Following these steps will not only make for a smooth transition for both family and pet, but it will also help your pet feel as though their world is not undergoing any major changes (something that can be a large source of stress for some pets).
To help you get started with this transition, we have put together some important tips on how to forge together a healthy relationship between your pet and your baby, without having to take sides.
Practice Basic Obedience and Behavioral Training
If your pet never quite got the hang of the “sit” or “stay” commands, this may be a good time to start re-learning these important terms. After all, a well-mannered dog is always easier to manage than one who has free rein of the house. Not only will learning basic instructions help immensely when you are busy caring for your new baby, but disruptive disturbances such as barking and destructive behavior can be a large pain, creating more work for you or creating anxiety for your newborn.
Socialize Your Pet With Other Infants
You do not want your pets first interaction with a baby to be the afternoon that you get home with a newborn in hand. After all, babies come with a lot of unfamiliar smells, noises and sights that can easily overwhelm your pet who is already undergoing a number of changes. Instead, prepare your pet for these things by introducing them to other toddlers or infants in your life. When the time comes to finally bring your baby home, these baby-isms will no longer be unfamiliar or frightening.
Exercise Caution In The Beginning
Once you are officially home with both pet and baby, you can begin to ease both of them into interactions with each other. However, be sure to exercise caution and keep your pet on a leash until they are completely comfortable and familiar with your infant. Also, be sure to keep an eye out for any signs for trouble or unease, such as a tight, closed mouth, high-pitched whining, or sudden lunges. If you are uncomfortable with this step, invite an experienced trainer over to your house for this step.
Do you have any other tips for introducing a new baby into a home with a pet? Be sure to let us know about them in the comments below.