Getting ready to introduce your doggy to your new baby? Dogs are so intuitive, and they know that something – though they may not know what – is happening.
Our sweet German Shepherd/Husky mix, Chloe, got really anxious through my first pregnancy. She started to lose hair like crazy and we really worried about how the transition was going to be for her (especially because we had a home birth).
But it was all fine in the end... When it came time to introduce Chloe to her new sister, she walked up and gave her one loving lick. Love at first sight!
If you're worried about how to make the introduction of a new human house member work, follow these tips to make it seamless:
Organize a postpartum puppy sitter
Whether you’re having a home or hospital birth, you may want to find a trusted friend or family member to take your pup for a couple of days when your birthing time comes. This way you won’t have to worry about taking care of your pup during the newborn haze — or freaking doggy out!
Orient your dog to your new baby’s smell
Before making the intro, wrap baby in a blanket or baby burp cloth (we love these sweet ones from Pehr), or use a worn onesie, and bring it to your dog to smell.
Greet your dog alone first and make sure they're calm before introducing them to your newborn
Also, a dog trainer friend of our family recommended the baby never be placed physically below the dog, to help doggo understand that even though babe may be small, they’re still in “charge.” This is less about dominance and more about ensuring your dog is always gentle & calm around baby.
Never leave your baby unattended with your dog
Even the most trusted dogs are still... dogs. Set everyone up for success by maintaining supervision at all times.
Also, future tip: don't let your dog lick food off of baby's face. This cute behaviour can sometimes turn aggressive unexpectedly.
Expect some back peddling in behaviour
Turns out our Chloe dog LOVES the kids, but it has turned her into a very defensive pup. We have to work with her daily to be calm when people come to the house, etc. Your dog may be totally fine! But it’s good to be prepared for some changes in behaviour.
The last step? Sit back and watch your best friend meet their new best friend. Teaching our children to care for & nurture animals is a gift. There’s nothing sweeter!
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