Dog & newborn – how to make it work

I love those postcards of a dog and a newborn! Welcoming a newborn into the family is an exciting time, but it can also be a stressful one for your furry friend. 

Introducing your dog to a new baby can be a challenging experience, but with some preparation and training, it is possible to create a happy and safe environment for both your dog and your new bundle of joy.

Advice to make it easier for a dog & newborn

Start preparing your dog early

It is important to start preparing your dog for the new arrival well in advance. This can involve getting your dog used to new smells, sounds, and objects that they may encounter when the baby arrives.

You can also start teaching your dog new commands and behaviors, such as “leave it” or “stay”, which can help them adjust to the new routine and boundaries.

It’s also a good idea to see your dog’s reaction when around babies. Is he curious? Uninterested? Trying to steal their food? Affectionate? Each dog is different and of course, its interaction also depends on the little person in front of it.

Supervise all interactions

It is important to supervise all interactions between your dog and your newborn. Never leave them alone together, even for a moment. 

At first, it’s a good idea to keep your dog on a leash or in a crate when your baby is around, and never let your dog get too close to your baby’s face or hands. 

It is important to remember that dogs are animals and may not understand how fragile a newborn baby can be.

Introduce your dog to the baby gradually

When it comes to introducing your dog to your newborn, it is important to take it slow and steady. Start by allowing your dog to sniff some of the baby’s belongings, such as a blanket or onesie while giving them plenty of positive reinforcement. 

You can also try giving your dog a treat whenever they are near the baby, to help create positive associations.

Establish boundaries and routines

It is important to establish boundaries and routines for your dog even before your baby arrives.

This can include setting up a designated space for your dog, such as a crate or bed, where they can retreat when they need some alone time. Make sure your dog understands that the baby’s toys and blankets aren’t for him. 

You can also establish a routine for walks and playtime, to help your dog adjust to the new schedule.

Enlist the help of a professional

If you are having trouble getting your dog to adjust to the new arrival, it may be helpful to enlist the help of a professional dog trainer. They can provide you with guidance and support, as well as help you develop a training plan that is tailored to your dog’s needs.

Having a dog & newborn can be the beginning of a beautiful friendship tale!

With all the joy and excitement that comes with the arrival of a newborn, it’s important not to leave our furry friends to the side.

By starting early, supervising all interactions, and establishing boundaries and routines, you can help your dog adjust to the new arrival and ensure that everyone in the family is happy and healthy.

If you enjoyed this article, check out the benefits of sleep training.

Until next time, Tania xx