Do you know that babies who grow up around dogs end up with a stronger immune system compared to those who don’t? Early exposure to dogs enhances the immune system’s maturity. Also, these children tend to exude a higher emotional intelligence, which is vital in real-life situations.
Even so, all these benefits come at a cost and multiple obligations. Dogs can be so unpredictable, especially when agitated. Having a newborn means change of lifestyle for everyone in the house. Be prepared for a situation where your furry friend and the infant compete for your attention.
How do you acclimate the two? How do you ensure their comfort and your newborn’s safety? Read on to learn more about having a dog around a newborn.
1. Prepare The Dog for The Visitor
When the baby finally comes, some items and rooms will be off-limits for the dog. You should start tweaking your furry friend’s routine to adjust to the new rules as early as when you’re seven months pregnant. Kindly note that sudden changes without warning would culminate in behavioral changes that may make it difficult for your newborn and the dog to bond.
2. Teach Your Dog a Few Commands
To ensure full control of any unforeseeable situation, you should ensure your four-legged friend follows direct commands. For instance, when you tell them, “sit!”, “go”, or “come”, they should do so without hesitation. That will guarantee a peaceful retreat in case the dog’s emotions run out of control.
3. Prepare for The Introduction
It will take a while before the dog gets used to the newborn. To ease the tension between the two, you can start making introductions gradually. Bring the two together in a controlled environment. You should hold the baby in your arms, and another adult holds the dog on a leash.
As the two approach or stare at each other, start making friendly gestures. Experts warn against looking nervous. Dogs will go to all extents to ensure their owners are safe. If you look nervous, you’ll send the wrong message to the dog. Your furry friend will probably think the baby in your arms means an imminent threat.
4. Reward Positive Associations
During the first weeks and months, your dog may feel somewhat nervous because of new competition. You have to clear that notion. Kindly consider rewarding your dog around the newborn to make sure they still feel the same love as before. It can be dangerous if your pup decides that good things like gifts only come when the baby isn’t around.
5. Supervise The Dog Around Your Baby
Lastly, you should never leave the baby and the dog together, even for one second. Dogs easily get irritated by funny sounds and may mistake the newborn for prey. If you’re going to answer the door or get food, go with the baby in your arms.
Eventually, your dog will love and embrace your newborn as they love you. The only kickback is that it doesn’t happen instantly or quickly. Consider the above tips if you’re expecting a baby and have a puppy around. After all, you want a kid who learns about responsibility from infancy.