How To Introduce Pets To Babies

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Bringing home your newborn baby can be one of the most exciting moments in your life. But watching your baby learn to interact with your pet is even more exhilarating. Therefore it is very important to know how to introduce pets to babies. During the time you are receiving your baby, do not make your loved pet feel neglected. In most instances, people neglect their pets after welcoming a newborn. This can easily happen with everything going on with a new baby. However, to the pet that has been in the home for a long time, and to the pet, it doesn’t seem right as they may feel abandoned, get depressed, feel jealous, and be a traumatic time, especially the older ones. It is often recommended that pet owners follow the following steps before introducing their pets to babies to aid in a smooth transition.

Top Tips for Introducing Pets to Babies

Preparing for a Baby

 Make gradual changes to your dog’s routines

As a pet owner, when preparing for a newborn, first focus on changing the dog’s routine, i.e., its sleeping location and the walking hours. This greatly helps to prevent the dog from associating the changes to the arrival of the baby. Preparing for a newborn baby is not easy, but with gradual adjustments, your pet will adapt quickly.

 Focus on Leadership

Nine months is enough for you to introduce the dog to the arrival of your baby and sort any issues that might arise during this process. If necessary, you could look for some professional help. In the end, you will like the work you will dedicate to ensure your dog and baby develop compassion towards each other.

Also, as a first-time introducing a pet approaches, slowly reduce the amount of your time you will be giving to your dog. Do this for about three weeks before your baby arrives home. This is important as your dog can be stressed up when you take their affection at the last minute when the baby comes.

 Teach the Dog Baby’s Scent

Owning a pet is quite fantastic, but before you bring your baby from the hospital, it is ideal that you familiarize the pet with the baby’s scent. Get the baby’s burp cloth and make your dog sniff the cloth from a distance while you are still holding it. By making the dog sniff it from a distance, you are introducing the scent of the baby to the dog. Make some boundaries when giving the fabric just the same way you would like the dog to give your baby some space. This will enable the dog to develop respect for your baby.

Besides the cloth, you can also use your baby’s powder and lotion, etc. to enable the dog to familiarize itself with the baby’s scent. You may also record baby sounds on a tape and play it to your pet so that it will familiarize itself with the sound of the baby.

 Establish Boundaries Around the Nursery

As a responsible pet owner, it is important to establish boundaries around the nursery. It is ideal to be done before the arrival of the baby and makes the dog know that there is an invisible barrier that he/she should not cross without your approval. That is while training your dog, allow it to sniff some things, and leave out others while also dictating the time he/she should leave. This will enable the dog to know that the room belongs to the baby, and she should show respect at all times.

Preparing for Baby Arrival

 Control the Introduction

When preparing to introduce your dog to a new baby, you should take it for a long walk first. Ensure the walk drains the dog’s energy and while returning stay at the doorstop and ensure the dog is calm and submissive before she enters the room. The moment the dog enters the door, he/she will sniff an unfamiliar scent unless you have familiarized her with it before. The parent holding the child should be calm, and you can allow the dog to sniff the baby, but at some distance. In the first meeting with the baby, ensure the dog maintains some space with the baby. As the dog remains calm, you can allow it to get closer to the baby. By making this introduction, you will teach your dog to respect your baby as another member of the family.

 Teach Your Baby

Once your baby gets older and starts to explore things in your home, especially your dog, take note of their interactions. At this stage, you should teach the child to avoid bothering the dog by catching her tail, pulling her fur, etc. These lessons are vital as the child can provoke the dog if the parents fail to give the baby proper lessons.

 Don’t Forget the Dog

A dog needs toys and attention to feel valued in the family, take them for daily walks, play with them, feed them well, and give leadership when required. These things will allow the dog not to feel threatened or jealous in their position and make them relax with your family. Also, it is vital to give attention to your dog when the baby is around and when the baby is not around. Remember they are used to getting almost all of your attention.

 Allowing the dog to sniff the baby.

Depending on how much preparation you have done with your dog, the time you allow your dog to get close to your baby to sniff, it may vary. Once your dog familiarizes itself with your baby’s cries, screams, or kicks and treats them as playing signs or warnings, you can allow it to sniff the baby. Some people feel comfortable allowing the dog to sniff the baby the same day they arrive home. The best time to do this introduction is when the baby is calm and usually sleeping. During their first interactions, ensure the baby is elevated and always monitor them. Do not prevent the dog from approaching the baby; instead, invite them.

Forget About The Dog Breed

Never assume that the dog may cause problems or not due to their breed solely. Most people view Pitbulls and Rottweilers as the most dangerous to babies, but chows, labs, and mixed breeds are equally dangerous as well. What is the lesson here? Do not trust the breed at the expense of your baby’s safety; instead, ensure you have full control of the dog in any situation.

Safety Tips when Introducing Pets to Babies

  • Never scorn the dog if it picks any of the baby toys as doing so may make it associate baby’s items with negativity. It may need time to learn the difference between the baby’s toys and its toys.
  • Teach your baby not to pull the dog ears or tail as the dog may bite the baby if it is pushed to its limits.
  • Never leave the dog alone with your child, even if you trust it.
  • Create some safety zones for your pet where they can rest when they do not want to disturb. Teach the kids not to invade this private space.

Your Child’s Safety Comes First

When you want to introduce your baby to the pet, it’s best to prioritize the safety of the baby. If you are not assured of your baby’s safety, then look for another dog home until you are sure the dog and baby are ready to bond.


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