Who knew a 25 LB rescue terrier obsessed with Mom and Dad would not love his new baby sister?! As Harper grew up, our dog was not a happy camper and caused us to make alot of adjustments to our household. When Harper started to crawl, our dog became very confused and uneasy! Rightfully so, she had not moved for the past 6 months. This post will help you introduce your dog to your new baby and keep a healthy relationship as your baby becomes mobile and grows up.
Dog and Baby Tips
- Introduce dog to new baby by smell- Before you bring your new baby home from the hospital, consider bringing a blanket or hat that the baby was wearing home and allow your dog/cat to smell it and become familiar with the new scent. When you bring the baby home, this will take some of the initial shock off for your pets.
- Give Dog his own space- Even if your dog doesn't use a crate anymore, it may be a good idea to get one and place it somewhere quiet in the house where he will not be disturbed by baby. We use this one, it's soft-sided and hides in a corner easily! This really comes into play when your baby starts to mobilize.
- NEVER leave dog and baby unattended- Do not ever leave dog and baby unattended together for even a millisecond. Dogs can react at the flip of a switch and it's best not to test your luck. I always make sure I have either baby or dog next to me.
- Utilize Baby Gates- Once the baby is mobile, you'll probably want to invest in baby gates all over the house for baby's safety and as a barrier between your dog and baby. This gate is great if you have a wider opening to cover and this one is great for high traffic areas because it is easy to open and close.
- Give dog lots of treats- When your dog is well behaved around your baby; reward them with praise and treats.
- Know your dog's warning signs- Be able to read when your dog is uncomfortable with the situation. He may give a side eye, have a stiff tail, whine, or appear rigid. If you dog is showing these signs, he is warning you and you should remove him from the situation immediately.
- Inform all caregivers- It's so important that all caregivers are on the same page with using baby gates and observing warning signs from your dog. It may be easier to keep your dog separate from your baby and caregiver if possible.
I hope that helps your dog and baby happily coexist and prevent any aggression towards your baby. I recommend working with a dog trainer if you have a dog that seems uncomfortable and uneasy around your baby. Having a baby and a dog (especially a fearful, protective, or aggressive dog) coexist in the house takes extra work, but I can't imagine a life without my little Oliver! With these tips, Harper and Oliver are doing much better coexisting, although we will never fully let our guard down, Oliver loves playing fetch with Harper and will even share his toys and allow her to pet him.
Nichole @ Little Peach Sleep