Introducing Your Pet to Your New Baby
Congratulations on your new baby! It’s been seven years today that I brought home my last baby to introduce to my dog. I have to say, by the time we got around to the third baby’s introduction, our dog was a pro with kids.
It was certainly a different situation than when we brought home our first baby. Mostly because I wasn’t a nervous, first time mom, but also because we had learned a few things along the way.
Here are some tips to ease the introduction of your new baby to your “old baby.”
First of all, you have nine months notice! Use this time wisely, and train your dog. You won’t be able to train him to not jump up AFTER you come home with the baby – you’ll be busy enough as it is.
This is also a great time to get them to sleep in their own bed, if you want to. If you feel your bed will hold two adult humans, a baby human, and a dog, then go for it.
Obedience classes generally last about 6 weeks, with homework each week, and can be used to get reliable sit, stay, come and retrieve commands down.
Use this time also to prepare your dog or cat for the new sights, sounds and especially smells of a baby. Invite over friends with babies, play the baby channel on TV, and allow your pet to explore all of the new things that are invading the house: bedding, toys, baby swings, blankets, etc.
One tip I used successfully was to sprinkle baby powder on all of the baby’s things: toys, blankets, etc. That way your dog or cat recognizes the smell, and that the object does not belong to him. (NOTE: The American Academy of Pediatrics cautions parents when using baby powder with infants due to published reports that talc or cornstarch in baby powder can injure a baby’s lungs.)
Information provided by Dr. Carrie Fox, owner of Highland Road Animal Hospital in Baton Rouge, LA Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org and find the Highland Road Animal Hospital blog at dogblogandcatfacts.wordpress.com.