Dogs and Babies | ASPCA
Dog Meets Baby Here are tips for preparing your dog for the youngest pack member from two Do this before bringing the baby home from the hospital. Don't wait till Baby is home to help your pup adjust to the expanded fam. "While an issue when you're eight months pregnant or carrying an infant in your arms. Trainer Tip #2: Introduce baby items, letting your dog explore potentially scary Myth #3: Just bring a baby blanket home beforehand to get your dog used to the .
Practise by walking your leashed dog next to the pram and build it into your daily routine. Do this before the baby arrives so your pet is used to the change when baby comes home. Have one member of the family greet the pet first and then introduce the baby when your pet is calm and relaxed. Don't be surprised if your cat goes into hiding when the baby arrives — this is common. Creating a positive environment Many pets learn to relate the presence of a baby as a time for inattention, confinement, or even punishment.
Reward your pet for obedient, relaxed behaviour in the presence of the child so they develop a positive association with the baby. Spending time with your pet As much as possible try to maintain your pet's routine.
Preparing Your Dog for Baby
Your pet still needs quality time with you even if it's only five minutes of sitting alone together, talking quietly or grooming. Continuing quality time will ensure your pet remains a valued family member. Less commonly, a dog may be aroused and focused on the baby. Both are serious situations that need to be addressed quickly and effectively.
Dogs with a history of aggression should be kept on a leash and muzzled when around children. Consider hiring a dog walker to take over the responsibility of exercising your dog, at least for the first few weeks after the baby arrives. Interview dog walkers and choose one now. To help your dog get used to leaving your house without you, you can have the dog walker start taking her on occasional walks. If your dog enjoys playing with other dogs, consider taking her to a doggie daycare once or twice a week after the baby comes.
Home planning for your newborn baby and your pet | Vetwest Animal Hospitals
Investigate your options now, and have your dog spend time at the daycare so that she gets used to this new activity. Begin these visits now. Teach her to settle quietly in an area where you plan to nurse the baby. This will only set her up for a bigger letdown when the baby comes and takes center stage. Instead, start scheduling short play and cuddle sessions with your dog, and gradually give her less and less attention at other times of day. It will be easiest for her to accept these changes if you institute new rules in advance.
If necessary, you can place the new bed in an exercise pen or a crate to prevent her from jumping up onto your bed during the night. Likewise, if you want your dog to sleep in another room when the baby arrives, establish this habit well in advance. You can find barriers, special seatbelts and crates at most major pet stores.
To learn how to discourage her from continually sounding the alarm, please see our article on Barking. The easiest way to accomplish this is to teach your dog to sit-stay or down-stay by the door. Later on, she can discover them on her own. While you sit in a chair, your dog can relax on her bed.
Try giving her a new chew bone or a food puzzle toy to work on during your quiet-time sessions. This practice will make her happy to be around the baby and reward her for staying in her spot during quiet time.
If you prefer, you can screw an eye hook into a baseboard to secure the tether. This practice will allow your dog to enjoy time with you and the baby but prevent her from jumping up or pawing at you. To some dogs, a crib might seem like the perfect place for a cozy nap! If she approaches the crib and spends more than a few seconds investigating it, simply call her to come to you.
If she complies, praise her warmly. Then take her by the collar and lead her away from the crib. Introduce Your Dog to Baby Sights, Sounds and Smells Unwrap new baby supplies, such as toys, car seats, highchairs and swings, from their packaging and introduce them to your dog one or two at a time.
Let her investigate them, but if she picks them up, immediately redirect her attention to one of her own toys or chew bones. If you can, borrow clothes and blankets that smell like a baby to get the dog used to that smell, too. If your dog is sensitive to strange noises, she might become agitated or frightened when she hears the baby cry.
To help her get used to the sound in advance, purchase a recording of realistic baby noises and play it frequently. Whenever you play the recording, give your dog plenty of attention, treats and anything else she likes. After 5 to 10 minutes, turn the recording off and ignore your dog for half an hour or so.
Do this several times a day. If you try this procedure and find that your dog seems really afraid of the recorded baby noises, you may need to start with the volume very low.
When she gets used to the sound at a low level, you can gradually increase the volume. Remember to give her plenty of delicious treats, like bits of cheese, hot dog or chicken, every time she hears the baby sounds.
The doll can also help you practice caring for the baby and interacting with your dog at the same time. Some dogs will jump up when you lift a doll and hold it your arms. A good solution is to ask your dog to stay in a sit or down whenever you hold, lift or handle the doll. You can use the doll to teach your dog to gently give kisses. Praise your dog for any kind of gentle contact with the doll, and give her plenty of treats.
To prepare your dog for this inevitability, accustom her to the types of touching you can expect from your baby, including grabbing, poking, pushing and pulling. Poke the Pup Poke your dog gently and then give her a treat. Gently tug on her ear and then give a treat. Gently grab her skin or pinch her and then give a treat. Later on, when the baby does these things, you can say the same phrase. With repetition, your dog will start to anticipate tasty treats and simply look to you each time she gets pinched or grabbed.
Practice these handling exercises four to eight times per day, and use especially exciting treats, like cheese, chicken or hot dogs. Training sessions can be short—about five minutes long. When you start your training, be very gentle. Over time, make your touches more intense, like they will be when the baby delivers them. Movement Some dogs have never seen a human crawl, so it can be an intimidating experience—especially because crawling puts a person right at their eye level.
Accomplishing this is easy! Crawl toward your dog. As soon as she lifts her head to look at you, pet her and give her treats. Everyone in the family should participate in this exercise. When your baby comes and your dog is completely comfortable with this new game, incorporate the baby into the picture, too. Have him sit on your back, supported by your partner, when you crawl. Remember to cuddle your dog and give her treats so that she continues to enjoy this strange, new human behavior!
Bringing the Baby Home First impressions are important. Your dog should have pleasant experiences with your baby right from the start. Expand to read more When bringing your baby home from the hospital, send everyone else into the house first so your dog can express her usual excitement to see people. It may help to prepare these treats in advance and keep them in a container near the front door.
If you seem nervous and jumpy, your dog will pick up on your feelings and may become nervous as well, thinking that the bundle in your arms is something to worry about. Instead, speak to your dog in a soft but cheerful voice as you walk into the house. Have your helper distract her with plenty of treats so that her attention is divided between them, your baby and the other people present.
The helper can ask your dog to respond to obedience cues, like sit and down, using the treats to reward her polite behavior. Praise your dog for any calm interest in the baby. Avoid scolding your dog.
Remember, you want her to associate the baby with good things, not your displeasure. Meeting the Baby Whether you choose to allow your dog to investigate the baby right away or to wait until a later time, orchestrate the event carefully.
Choose a quiet room, and sit down with the baby in your arms. Have a helper leash your dog and bring her into the room.
Again, avoid nervous or agitated behavior. Talk to your dog in a calm, happy voice as you invite her to approach. Convince her that meeting and interacting with her new friend is fun, not stressful. If she wants to, let your dog sniff the baby as you continue to speak softly to her. Praise her warmly for gentle investigation.
Prep Your Pooch: Introducing Dog and Baby
Even if your dog seems curious and calm, you may feel a little nervous about letting her get close to the infant. Initially, you might feel most comfortable allowing only brief interactions. Then gently interrupt her investigation by praising her and asking her to sit or lie down. Reward her for complying with a few small, tasty treats.
Your helper can hand them to you or deliver the rewards to your dog himself. If you like, repeat this sequence a few times. Then have your helper distract your dog with a new chew bone or a food puzzle toy. If your furry friend happens to see a squirrel or another canine buddy, he might jerk the leash—dangerous when there's a baby tucked in the stroller!
Forget the adage "you can't teach an old dog new tricks. Standing directly in front of your pooch, say "back" and hold out your hand as you shuffle toward him. He'll naturally back up, and then you can reward him with a treat, such as praise, a pat on the head, or a small biscuit. Practice this cue throughout the next few months, gradually eliminating your forward movement, so you only have to lift your hand and say "back.
One month before your due date When you head to the hospital to deliver, you'll be gone for a couple of days. Do you know who will be feeding your dog and walking him? Worried about juggling a newborn and your pet in the early days? You might want to sign up your pup for "doggie day care" and try it out now. A good center will have at least two attendants per ten dogs and keep the bully dogs from being aggressive toward others, Stilwell says.
Closer to Delivery Day Two weeks before your due date Unless you've scheduled a cesarean section or induction, the delivery date is anyone's guess, so have your dog's ducks in a row. Divide his food into individual servings, jot down pertinent phone numbers such as the vet's for the sitter, and keep the leash in a visible place.
This way, if you have to head to the hospital suddenly, your pooch's caregiver can find everything in a flash. Once you're gone, your pet may be anxious with the abrupt change in routine, so stash some goodies in advance. You're dealing with a thousand emotions right now you're excited, nervous, frazzledand your pet, picking up on those feelings, may act out.
Take a leisurely stroll if you're up for it, or cuddle with him on the couch.
The TLC will calm your canine and help you feel more relaxed and ready for the impending life shake-up too. While you're in the hospital When your baby arrives and you're recovering from childbirth, your partner, a family member, or a friend should call the dog sitter to make sure she got into the house. Later, have Daddy or Grandma take home one of your baby's first bodysuits or blankets so your dog can get used to your child's smell, Saul says.
By the time Baby comes home, your pooch will recognize and accept the strange new scent.