Dogs and Babies: Tips for Introducing the Two

Growth and Development, Health and Safety
Dogs and Babies: Tips for Introducing the Two

Some new parents fret about the idea of bringing a new baby into the house with a dog, and while a rambunctious dog could potentially hurt an infant, there is no reason to assume that this will be the case if you have properly prepared the canine and take the necessary precautionary steps. Bringing a baby into the house with a dog can drastically affect the dog’s environment, but you’ll find that a baby and a dog can get along quite safely.

Start by making sure—either by training him or having him trained—that the dog knows how to sit and stay in a reliable fashion. This should happen long before you bring the baby home. Sit on the couch, and make sure that you can command the dog to stay down on the ground. Your lap is shortly going to be occupied by a baby, and you need to make sure that the dog doesn’t jump up on you.

Get the dog used to a baby’s scent before you introduce the two of them. This can easily be done by carrying around a blanket that the baby has been using. Bundle up the blanket, and carry it as you would a baby. Make sure that the dog does not jump on you and that it stays on the ground.

Before you introduce your dog to the baby, make sure that you take it out for a long walk. This is especially important for younger dogs, who have a lot of energy. A long walk and play session will mean that the dog is a lot calmer.

Sit on the couch with your baby and allow the dog to sit nearby. Ideally, there will be someone on hand to restrain the dog if it gets too curious. Allow the dog to get used to the baby’s scent. Let this interaction go on for a minute or two, and then repeat it over the span of a few weeks, gradually lengthening the time.

Remember to maintain your dog’s schedule as much as possible. A dog with a good schedule is a calm dog, and the less the household is disturbed, the more calm the dog will be. Feed and walk the dog in the same time frame as you have always done.

There is no reason that your dog and your new baby cannot cohabitate peacefully. Just remember to take a lot of time getting them used to each other, and make sure that they do not have unsupervised contact until you are completely certain of the dog’s ability to remain calm.

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