Newborn at home so the dog has to go
For those who give up their dogs when they have a baby, I’m posting this photo of a family whose 15-year-old Jack Russel Terrier is treated as one of the children (because he was their first child) and who is the protector of his two human brothers and sisters.
Never use the excuse that you had to let your dog go because you have a baby in the family and the doctor advised you blah blah blah and other lame excuses.
Never abandon your pets. They are family
Most people will probably see their dog as being part of the family. Therefore, it can be devastating when they suddenly change their behaviour due to the arrival of a new baby. In the same way in which you see your furry friend as your baby, the dog definitely has the same idea. This is the reason why they feel a little put out when you bring home someone new.
The safety of your baby is the most important thing you need to consider, their wellbeing should obviously be put first. However, we don’t think it should be a case of ‘it’s me or the dog.’
Acknowledge the risks
It doesn’t matter how ‘soft’ and friendly you think your dog is, it’s important that you acknowledge that there might be a risk in having your dog around the baby. Babies are loud and bring new smells – this might make your dog confused, curious and upset. Dogs who get defensive are likely to be more unpredictable.
Don’t sit around and wait for something to happen before taking action – there are plenty of preventative measures you can take beforehand. In the months/weeks before your baby is born, take this time to give your dog some extra training. Instructions you should definitely work on include stopping when asked, lying down and reducing the loud barking. How about socialising your dog with other children beforehand?
Make the first impression a good one
The first time that your baby and dog meet will be extremely important – it’s essential that it’s done right. Dogs get excited when their family return home from being out, so it’s a good idea to enter the house first and do your usual greetings. After your pet has calmed down, this will the perfect time to bring the baby in. Let your dog sniff around and get used to the smell – your baby will soon smell familiar to them.
Don’t leave them alone
Until your child is old enough to be taught how to stroke/handle the dog correctly, it’s important that you don’t leave them alone together. Even if you trust your dog completely (and some are absolutely brilliant with children), it’s still best to never leave them alone until your baby is a little older.
Some dogs have brilliant relationships with babies and actually become extremely protective of them. It’s just about getting the timing right