Dogs and babies can live safely in the same household, but this doesn’t always happen on its own. How you introduce your Labrador to your new baby can have a long-term benefits for everyone.
If you have a dog and are expecting a baby, you need to ask yourself the question “How will the arrival of my new bundle of joy affect my dog?”
Every dog is different! Some will share your excitement and instinctively love your baby even before the big day! Other dogs may feel jealous when your attention is diverted from them. You also need to remember that your Labrador may not know what a baby is! For many dogs a tiny human being is a brand new concept!
There are so many success stories out there! Most dogs introduced to babies correctly love and cherish the new little person. The dog becomes protective and will watch over your baby continually – especially when you can’t.
There are few things better than watching loving babies interact with loving dogs –they play, they love, they’re just awesome! Growing up with a dog is fun, it’s stimulating and good for your baby’s development.
Your dog can be your baby’s best playmate and guardian if you introduce your dog to your baby appropriately.
On the other hand, if you don’t get the “dog and baby” introduction right, your dog could add to the stress and anxiety, and detract from the joy, of having a new baby in your home.
Months before the stork arrives, think about how you will introduce your baby to your dog.
Make sure you prepare your dog for a change in routine – and more important – for the inevitable decrease of your attention.
Take the time to ponder how your dog will react. You know your dog best. Do you treat your dog like a baby? Does your dog sleep on your bed? Are you a softie – do you let your dog get away with things? How does your dog react to new situations? Picture some of your pup’s cuteness in your mind and then add your new baby to the mix. You’ll soon see what needs to change in anticipation of the happy dog-and-baby meeting.
You cannot expect your Labrador to behave correctly. Prepare in advance and you, your dog and your new baby will reap the rewards! Don’t deprive your baby of the joy of growing up with your Lab – don’t deprive yourself of the joy your dog brings to your home. Dog and baby can coexist in harmony. It is possible and the benefits far outweigh the risks.
Preparing months ahead will help your dog accept the new baby more easily when the big day arrives! Here are some tips to ensure harmony and safety between dog and baby.
- Teach your dog the Wait command. If your dog knows how to wait, then you are one step ahead! This prevents your dog from going into any rooms or jumping onto furniture without your consent.
- Visualize what your home will be like with a dog and a baby. Does your pooch jump on you or get on the bed or couch without consent?If necessary, put effort into training your dog to correct this behavior.
- Practice walking around with a doll on your arms. The key is to get your dog used to seeing something he or she is not allowed to jump up ator lie beside.
- Before baby arrives, practice walking your dog beside a stroller. If you can, create situations in which your dog may encounter distractions such as otherdogs,cats, and others. Take steps to correct any behavior that is potentially harmful.
- Does your dog do well around children? If your dog has never been around children before, go to places, like parks, where your dog can get used to babies and toddlers.
- Routine is very important to ensure a good life with your dog and baby. When your dog notices all the attention he or she used to get being diverted to baby, jealousy could set in.A jealous dog may act out to get attention. Find the time to make sure your dog still feels loved despite the new family member. Better still, include your dog in as many baby activities as you possibly can. It’s vital to supervise all “dog-baby” interactions. Never allow your dog to get involved in activities until you invite this.
- Have someone bring home a baby blanket from the hospital and allow your pooch to smell it before baby comes home.
- When baby arrives, allow your dog to get used to seeing him or her in your arms, bed and around the house. Be patient with the actual introduction even if it takes a while.
- On the actual day of introduction, try not to be nervous. Your dog can easily detect if you are uneasy. Wait until you are comfortable enough to let your human and doggie babies meet so the meeting is positive and happy.
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