Tips on Introducing your dog to your new baby

It's one of the things about bringing home a new baby that I am most stressed about, introducing our human baby to our fur baby.  Like most pet parents, we LOVE our dog, not always the best behaved, but full of personality, love, joy and energy.  We are desperate for our new baby and beloved pet to happily coexist under the same roof.

Disclaimer: We haven't had the baby yet, so obviously this has not happened, so I am not speaking from experience, merely gathered lots and lots of research and polled lots of moms to see if they had any tips, and here is what I came up with.

Keep reading to find out what I learned.

Before bringing the baby home:

  1. Set up some of the baby things, swings and whatnot around the home to get the dog comfortable with them before baby comes home.  Be sure to turn on the sounds, movements and vibrations to fully prepare the dog.  
  2. One friend also suggested turning baby noises on your phone and placing it around the house to acquaint the dog with the new sounds.
  3. I heard from a lot of different sources to bring the dog a blanket or towel with the baby's scent  to smell. 

Bringing the baby home:

  1. Try to take the dog for a walk to dispense some energy before bringing home the baby.
  2. Have the person/people not carrying the baby enter the house first, so the dog can release some of his excitement.  
  3. The person the dog is usually most excited to see should not be the one carrying the baby.
  4. Have treats ready by the door, to create positive associations with the baby immediately.  
  5. be relaxed, if you seem nervous, the dog will pick up on that and be nervous too
  6. Avoid scolding your dog, try to keep the associations as positive as possible

Introducing dog to baby:
  1. try to make the introduction as relaxed and natural as possible
  2. Have a helper leash the dog while you hold the baby in your arms.  Read the dog's body language, if it's positive, allow the dog to sniff and investigate from a safe distance, but don't present the baby to the dog, as the dog might think it's her baby.  
  3. Again, have treats ready and reward the dog for being gentle and backing off if you say to.  
  • Be sure to continue to give your dog lots of love and attention after baby is home.  
  • Do you best to keep the dogs routine as unchanged as possible, take her for walks and exercise as normal
  • sounds obvious, but keep an eye on dog and baby and keep training the dog to be polite around baby.
The good news is, everyone I talked to had nothing but positive stories.  Most people also said that they too were nervous, but it turned out to be non-event, so don't stress too much.  

Read lots more information here.