New Baby And The Family Dog
Getting a new baby is a joyous time for the couple involved as well as for the family. The birth of a child is
usually marked with great celebrations, but even though this is good, bring a new baby home is even better.
Sometimes new babies take up so much attention, people forget about the dog. This period of homecoming for the
baby is usually a time of confusion for the dog.
A dog that would normally have the owners’ attention is reduced to nothing more than just an observer. In this
time, dogs may display jealous fits or aggressive
behaviour. While this behaviour should not be encouraged, you should also understand that the dog is acting out
his frustrations. There are a few safety tips for children with
dogs that you should be aware of.
Introducing the dog to the baby should be done gradually. Remember the sight and sound of the baby is not
familiar to your dog. The key is to try and get the dog used to having the baby around.
You can start by giving the dog the baby’s blanket; this will help the dog become familiar with the smell of the
baby. When doing the introduction, pay close attention to the dog’s reaction as this will tell you if you are
Once that is done, you can get a recording of the baby crying and play it for the dog. Make this a good
experience for your dog by rewarding the dog for sitting still while you are playing the recorder with a doll
wrapped in a shawl in your arms, that way the dog thinks the bundle in your arm is making those noises.
Some basic dog training advice will also help in controlling
certain kind of behaviour that may cause the baby harm. Discouraging the dog from jumping on you is essential
during this time.
Since you are going to be preoccupied with the baby, you can ask someone else to ensure that your dog is well
fed and taken for exercise. This will make the transition easier for the dog. So that the dog doesn’t feel that you
don’t pay attention to him anymore, set time aside to spend time with your dog. This time should be spent doing
something fun that will catch the dog’s attention.
As the dog becomes used to the smell and sound of the baby, you can then let the dog near the baby, but only for
a small period of time. Never leave the dog with the baby unsupervised!
You may consult with the paediatrician to ensure that it is ok for your dog to be near the baby. In babies
suffering from asthma and other respiratory conditions, being around the dog or cat may not be such a good idea.
When babies are small, they put their fingers in their mouth a lot. To avoid your baby catching an infection from
the dog, do not let the baby lick the child and especially not on the hands.
Any time spent with the baby should be under the watchful supervision of an adult, remember accidents can