DOG MEETS BABY
When you prepare your dog, you keep your baby safe
When your dog is your first baby, making sure you help your dog understand what a new baby means, is imperative. Even the nicest dogs can show signs of aggression.
A new human baby brings so many new sounds and smells. Your attention is focused else where and your dog will likely feel the change as stressful.
So what are a few simple steps you can take?
Ideally preparation should start about 3 months before the big day. But if not, here are a few simple steps you can take:
- Begin to introduce sound making baby toys to your dog. These sounds, especially the loud ones, can be alarming to a dog that has been accustomed to a quiet household.
- If your dog is allowed on the couch, this may be something to reconsider. It’s risky to trust dog and baby on the couch alone for even a few minutes. Getting your dog a special bed might help.
- As soon as possible, bring home a blanket from the hospital that has baby scent on it and give this item to the dog. When baby comes home their smell won’t be anything new.
- Keep doggie on a leash for the first meetings.
I worked with a nurse who had the sweetest Golden Retriever. This breed (which is what I have too) is known to be gentle and loving, but typically do not like loud noises. After she had her first baby, there weren't any issues. Her baby pulled on his ears, sat and bounce on his back and he was very docile and she trusted him with her baby 100%. However, this sweet dog did not like the vacuum and would hide behind their recliner every time he heard it turn on. When her mobile baby was a little over 1 year, she did not see him follow the dog behind the chair. When the vacuum turned off, she saw this sweet dog had bit her baby in the face.
My first golden was trained never to come upstairs, but every New Years Eve and 4th of July, when the fire works started, she would dart upstairs to lay right next to our bed, terrified. Most of us believe we know our animals well, but be aware of being blinded to the fact they are still animals and can be unpredictable.
Don’t assume your dog is different and take the steps to keep your baby safe. This can be a challenging time for everybody. And remember, your first baby🐶 needs a lot of attention too.