For dog lovers, our pets are family.
If this is your first pregnancy, your dog might have very well been your first baby. When it comes time to bringing your baby home for the first time, you might be wondering how to introduce your dog to your brand new baby.
Our dogs are very in tune with our emotional energy, but they don’t always know what these different feelings around the house mean. Pregnancy is an emotional journey with ups and downs and your pet will likely reflect these emotions in their own behavior.
New parents shouldn’t feel stressed to introduce their two favorite “people” together for the first time, so we’re bringing expectant parents some peace of mind for this exciting new chapter for their growing families.
Break Bad Habits
While you’re pregnant, it’s a great opportunity to focus on your pet and breaking some bad habits they might have. If your dog has some behavioral quirks like jumping when greeting new people, territoriality or even accidents in the house, it might be helpful for you to get them on a training regimen. When it comes time to bring home your newborn, it’s a sigh of relief to have your dog being well behaved and in a calm and comfortable state of mind.
Prepare Your Pet
Dogs have an acute sense of smell and sound and these are immediately connected to many of their behaviors. Preparing your dog with the sights, sounds an scent of your new baby helps acclimate your dog to the changes around your home. Play baby sounds at a low volume throughout the day, turning the volume up while your dog is more relaxed. Use a realistic baby doll to help your dog understand how to interact around the baby, praising or rewarding them for good behavior. It can also be helpful to introduce your new baby’s scent on a blanket or an article of clothing to help your pet develop a relationship with the new baby.
When dogs are confused or anxious, they might give warning signs to people that can come across as aggressive. Low growls or mumbles out of your dog give you an opportunity to assess the situation or conflict, understanding more about what is triggering this emotion in your dog. Observe their body language, help remove them from the situation if they become visually stressed. Don’t punish the warning signs your dog are sending you, they are just looking for some understanding.
Patience is everything in the first few weeks home with your new baby and that goes for your baby’s relationship with your dog too.
Don’t overstimulate your pet by forcing the interaction with your baby and a little understanding and patience will result in an amazing lifelong friendship.