You’ve become proud parents to a beautiful baby and you can’t wait to come home. There is a slight problem though, you don’t know how your family dog will react to the new addition…
This shouldn’t be any cause for concern. Dogs and babies can get along. Introducing your newborn to your dog should be a smooth process. But if your dog hasn’t previously been exposed or socialised with infants or small children, there may be problems. It’s possible that your dog could get jealous and find the new situation difficult to adjust to.
There’s a full guide on on how to introduce your baby to your dog on the blog, Shepped.com. Here are some of the tips that you can apply months in advance to prepare your pet.
Your Dog May be Jealous of Your Baby
Firstly, it is important to appreciate that your dog will probably get jealous. Yes, dog jealousy is a real thing, just like it is for humans. For them their territory has already been mapped out and they are settled into a routine. All of a sudden, that can get upset and it can be a shock for them.
There are a few behaviours to be aware of that can demonstrate if your dog is of the jealous type prior to bringing your baby home. If they challenge anyone or any other dog that looks to interact with you then you know they are afraid of losing your love and attention.
This is a natural instinct for them but you can prepare them for this months before the birth itself. By introducing your dog to a baby’s scent through a cloth or any other item, they then become aware of a new smell so it doesn’t become a shock when your baby arrives home.
Socialise Your Dog
You can take your preparation a step further by having your dog socialise with babies and infants. If your dog is already familiar with baby behaviour and the sounds that they make, then it won’t be perceived as such a problem when they come home.
Control the Introduction
It’s important to be in control when you’re introducing dogs and babies. Don’t allow your dog to bounce in and rush over to the new baby.
As with anything when owning a dog, leadership plays an even bigger part than normal. Your dog must know that this is your territory and you are in charge of the pack, no matter the circumstances.
By following these hints and tips, there is no reason that you can’t bring your baby home to a happy household and begin a blossoming relationship between baby and dog.
About our guest writer: Emma Mills is a mum of two, dog lover and German Shepherd expert. She writes at Shepped.com, German Shepherds 101.