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  • Writer's pictureAndy Wiltz

Bringing Home Baby: Adjusting to the Newest Member of the Family

Updated: Jun 16, 2021

Bringing home a new baby is a lot to handle and there will be a lot of changes happening very quickly. New smells and sounds will be all around and can be a big adjustment for you and your pup! Here are a few tips to prepare yourself and get your pup ready for the new addition.

New Space

Make physical changes, such as setting up the crib, rocking chair, etc to allow your dog to adjust to these new items over time. Try taking your dog for a walk with an empty stroller or begin using baby powder and lotion so your pup gets used to the smell. Encourage your dog to explore, smell, and interact with these new items.

Establish Independence

Dogs are very loyal creatures, and many enjoy spending as much time as possible with their parents. Start by spending less time with your dog so that they establish independence. If there are other family members in the house, encourage them to hang out with your dog to establish a better connection. You can bring them to places like Woof’s Play & Stay, to not only adjust them to their new independent mindset, but also to let them play so they are more tired at night.

Prepare for First Meeting

If possible, send your baby’s blanket home to meet your pup so that they can get used to and anticipate the new smell when baby comes home for the first time.

Have a family member take your dog for a walk before baby arrives to make sure they have released any pent-up energy and to prevent any injuries.

Positive Interactions

Once you finally arrive at home, make sure your dog is calm and not jumping around. Sit on the floor with your newborn and slowly allow the interaction to take place. Do not force your pup and baby to meet, instead let your pup come over at his or her own pace – be sure to give your pup treats to associate positive outcomes with baby.

Make sure to have a family member standing by so they can intervene if the situation needs it. You can be firm but try to stay positive and not punish your pup. You do not want your pup to associate negatively with your newborn.

Always Supervise

If all goes well, your pup will soon decide your baby is part of the family and will accept them as a part of the pack. Even if your pup and baby bond quickly, never leave them together unattended. Likewise, while your baby grows and adjusts to life in this world, avoid letting your dog lick your baby to prevent the spread of germs.

Crate Expectations

You pup’s crate needs to be his/her sanctuary and should be off-limits to kids. Do not let your little ones climb into the crate, this can cause trust issues with your pup and turn into a dangerous situation later on.

Don’t Forget the Dog

Your pup does not need new toys or special attention to make up for the new addition to the family. The best thing you can do for your pup is maintain their routine. Do not skip out on daily walks and current training practices. If you feel that your pup is not getting enough attention at home with the baby around, bring them to a Woof’s where they can get 8+ hours of DayPlay with other dogs and they will go home tired and happy.

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