Most expectant parents that have dogs would love nothing more than to have their pup love their baby just as much as their dog loves them. While some dogs will immediately accept a newborn into the “pack,” many dogs require some adjustment that can be a bit trying for the parents. Fortunately, there are some things that you can do to help ease this transition and help your dog learn to love your new baby. Read on to learn our tips for introducing your dog to your baby and building a positive relationship between the two.
Let Them Get the Scent
Since dogs have an exceptionally keen sense of smell, they tend to experience the world most vividly through their noses. You can utilize this fact to your advantage when introducing your dog to your baby by allowing your dog to associate the smell of your newborn with your smell. One practical way to accomplish this task is to bring home an item of clothing that your little one has been wearing for your dog to smell. Since you are bringing the item into the house, the dog will associate the scents on the item with you. Doing this exercise several times before bringing your infant home allows your pup to get acclimated to them before they arrive.
Don’t Overwhelm Them
While you have been in the hospital, your dog has likely spent large expanses of time alone in your home and will certainly have missed mom and dad. For many dogs, the arrival of their parents can cause them to get very excited and if you add in the new smells and the presence of additional family can be a lot for your pup to process. To help keep their stimulation in check, try to have people enter the home a little bit at a time and let your dog get settled before introducing your dog to your baby. This allows your dog an easier opportunity to process the presence of your newborn.
Keep It Positive
After introducing your dog to your baby, it becomes important to create a strong bond by providing positive experiences for both parties. One of the best ways to do this is to make sure that you provide your pup with plenty of praise when they interact positively with your baby. Praising them provides strong reinforcement for desirable behaviors and is a practice that is common when training dogs.