People who rescue a dog before having their first child often refer to that puppy as their firstborn. For a while, that dog is used to getting a certain level of attention from you and the people in your household on a daily basis. They have a certain routine that includes getting up at a certain time, going for walks, and powering down in the evening. Not to mention taking several naps in various places throughout the house. So what happens when it’s time for them to meet your other “first born”.
When having a child, you take several precautions to ensure their safety. This includes buying sturdy furniture, baby proofing the house, and cleaning the carpets to ensure there are no lingering bacteria for them to come into contact with. However, you must also set up a plan for when your new baby meets your dog for the first time. To ensure a smooth transition, try following these simple tips and tricks.
Gradually Change Their Routine
If you know your dog’s routine will have to change when the baby comes home, get out ahead of it by starting that transition beforehand. This may include when they wake up, get fed, or go for a walk. If you wait until the baby comes home, your pup may associate the changes with them and become resentful as a result. If they settle into their new routine beforehand, they will be better suited to handle the other changes that are coming.
Get Them Used To The Scent
Once the baby is born, you can bring a piece of their clothing home for the dog to smell. Since dog’s have a powerful sense of smell, this will increase their comfort level when the baby arrives home for good. You may also want to introduce them to additional baby related scents such as baby powder or lotion. Remember, the key is to prevent your dog from getting overwhelmed by experiencing too many new things at once.
Play Baby Sounds Before The Birth
A crying baby is an adjustment from both dogs or humans. However, as parents you are prepared for this and already know what it sounds like. For a dog with sensitive hearing, a baby’s wailing can stress them out and be overwhelming. For the first few weeks, play a recording of a baby crying to get them used to the sound before they start experiencing it for real.
Ease Them Into Contact
Hopefully, your dog is excited to meet their new human sibling. It’s crucial to remember that dogs can sometimes get too excited. The last thing you want is them trying to crawl into the baby carrier and hurting them. You also don’t want you dog to give your newborn kisses after it was outside eating grass, bugs, and other gross things. You may want to consider putting them on a leash and letting them sniff for the first few days until the are calm enough to explore on their own.
The introduction of your dog to your baby will be a memorable occasion. The key is to prepare for it accordingly by eliminating the ways your dog might get overwhelmed by this change. The fewer things new things they have to get used to at the same time, the better off they will be. By following these steps, you can ensure the relationship between your child and dog will get off on the right foot.