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How to introduce a dog to a newborn?

Even the most prepared parents often underestimate how much time and effort it will take to care for their baby. The family’s former favourite, the dog, will have less time to give way to the baby. How can I get my dog used to my child as quickly as possible? You can help your pet get used to its new role in the family by following the tips below.

You should get your dog used to the changing routine beforehand. It is best to make the change gradually, starting one month before the baby is born. For example, if you are going to keep the dog out of the future baby’s room, close the door to that room before the baby is born.

Allow the dog to sniff the baby’s clothes. When the baby is born but is still in hospital, take some clothes with the baby’s scent on them home. Don’t put baby-scented items under the dog’s nose – let the dog get to know the scent of the new family member gradually, as dogs can smell even when they are at the other end of the room. It is also a good idea to make a recording of the child’s voice and give it to the dog to listen to, so that the dog can get used to the sound the child is making beforehand. Dogs are interested in new smells and sounds, but may be a little nervous. If you notice that your dog is reacting too negatively to the baby’s smells and sounds, it is a good idea to consult a vet.

When you first bring your baby home, have a leash and collar ready in advance to keep the dog under control. Introduce the dog to the baby in the house but not outside. Let the mother and her newborn enter through the door first, then the dog. The dog needs to feel that the baby needs to be treated with respect, that it is a new member of the family. It is important to be calm and confident. The dog may jump to greet its owner. It would be a good idea for a family member to hold the baby or take it to another room while the owner greets her pet. It is important to pay enough attention to the dog after returning from hospital not envy the child, and associate the arrival of the baby with positive emotions.

The dog’s first introduction to the child should be brief and controlled. Once the dog has calmed down, it can be allowed to sniff the baby’s hands and feet while being held by the lead. Pat the dog when it is introduced to the child. Reward the dog with a treat when it sniffs the baby. Most dogs adapt easily. Once a dog’s curiosity is satisfied, it will usually start to ignore the baby.

The dog can be allowed to sit next to you and the child, with close observation of the dog’s behaviour. However, never force the dog to approach the child if it does not want to. On the contrary, set a certain safe distance from the baby which the dog should not cross without permission. This behaviour will be understandable to your pet, since when pups are born in a pack of dogs or wolves, the mother does not show them to the other members of the pack, even though they smell and are aware of the growth of the pack. Reward the dog for good behaviour.

After some time, when the dog is used to the smell of the baby, give the dog aallow your dog to sniff your child without a leash. Watch the dog’s reactions carefully and be ready to intervene, as the dog may interpret the baby’s cries or movements as an invitation to play or as a threat. Remember that dogs have a strong prey-pursuit instinct, which can be aroused by the size and weakness of the baby.

Pay close attention to your pet when the baby is around so that the dog does not think that all good things happen when the baby is not around.

Do not punish the dog for playing with the baby’s toys. Otherwise, the smell of the baby will be associated with negative things. Simply take the child’s toy and replace it with a toy for dogs.
The most important thing to remember is that even the cutest and most intelligent dog should not be left unattended with a baby.

However, if your dog has ever shown aggression towards strangers, children or smaller animals, if it dominates the family, if it tends to defend its territory and if it is used to constant attention, it is important to consider seriously

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