For most dog parents, their dogs are almost like their first baby. So, they tend to give all their attention to their four-legged child. If you happen to be a dog parent, you already know how easy it is to spoil them with love. However, things get slightly different when you welcome a newborn into the same house. While dogs are renowned for their intellect and empathy around kids, you will still need to plan if you want dogs and babies to get along.
As humans, we do not like it when someone suddenly stops giving us attention. Dogs are no different. And if your dog figures out that you are giving their share of attention to your new baby, they may become jealous. To make sure they don’t end up resenting their new sibling, here are a few useful tips that you should follow:
Keep your dog calm around the baby
Your dog may seem agitated around your newborn for the first few days. So, you need to find ways to calm your dog down. While offering chew toys and treats is an effective way to do that, you may also consider giving your dog calming supplements from companies like Chou2 Pharma. Taking your dog for a walk or playing fetch can also help.
Help your dog accept the baby
Instead of putting up a barrier between your dog and the baby, you should help your dog accept the baby’s presence. Let your furry child go near the newborn and get used to the baby’s scent. Since dogs use their sense of smell to comprehend the world around them, getting familiar with the baby’s scent will help them accept the baby sooner. You should also reward your dog when they behave well around the baby.
Reward your dog for good behavior
You need to encourage your dog’s good behavior around the baby. Your appreciation can help your pooch understand what kind of behavior you expect. If they are calm around the baby without you trying anything, reward your dog with some treats. When your dog calmly approaches your baby, smells the baby’s feet, or just relaxes on the floor near the baby, gently pat them and tell them how good they are.
Do not leave them alone
Even if your dog seems friendly around the baby, you should not leave them alone in a room. Your dog may be learning their way around the baby, but they do not have the decision-making ability that a human does. Instead of leaving the baby with the dog, try to interact with them together and help them bond. Pet your dog with one hand as you hold the baby on another hand and nurse them. Never leave them out of your sight.
Teach your baby how to treat the four-legged sibling
A relationship requires efforts from both sides. If you are expecting your dog to behave well around the baby but not teaching the child how to treat the pooch, all your efforts are going to be futile. As your baby starts to crawl and move around the house, they may soon start to interact with the dog on their own. Let the baby know that they should be gentle while petting the dog and should never pull the dog’s fur, ears, or tail.
Final thoughts on dogs and babies
Living with dogs and babies can be challenging for most people. However, if you plan things properly, the challenges can be managed without even breaking a sweat.
As a parent, you need to treat both your children with care and make sure they get along well. It can be overwhelming at times, but you need to trust the process and let both take their time to get accustomed to the presence of the sibling.