DOGS AND NEW­BORNS

IN­TRO­DUC­ING YOUR NEW BABY TO THE FAM­ILY PET

Style Magazine - - Lifestyle -

Whether you’re hav­ing your first child or your third, prop­erly in­tro­duc­ing a new baby to your dog is very im­por­tant.

Be­fore bring­ing home your first baby, your dog might have been treated as the only child all its life and will not im­me­di­ately un­der­stand what’s go­ing on.

There is no rea­son to panic and drop your dog off at the RSPCA, how­ever.

You can pre­pare your dog for the big day in ad­vance and you can con­trol the even­tual in­tro­duc­tion, paving the way for a life­long friend­ship be­tween your child and your dog.

PREPA­RA­TION

In the nine months fol­low­ing the good news, you and your part­ner have to fo­cus on teach­ing your dog ba­sic com­mands and man­ners (if your pooch isn’t al­ready well trained).

Smooth out any un­de­sir­able habits, es­tab­lish ground rules, and make sure your dog will lis­ten to you if you give it a com­mand.

Start in­tro­duc­ing your dog to baby items, like a stroller or bassinet.

This way, your dog will be used to these alien items long be­fore your baby uses them (and will not as­so­ciate the ini­tial neg­a­tive feel­ings with your baby).

D-DAY

If pos­si­ble, and while spend­ing some re­cov­ery time with your new­born, have a fam­ily mem­ber take a used baby blan­ket or item of cloth­ing home, for your dog to sniff.

Once the baby is home, your dog will be sur­rounded by new sights, smells and sounds – limit the un­fa­mil­iar­ity as much as pos­si­ble by in­tro­duc­ing your dog to your baby’s scent be­fore com­ing home for the first time.

When you ar­rive, let your part­ner en­ter your home first and greet the dog as nor­mal.

Your pooch will have missed you and will need to ex­pend some ex­cited en­ergy be­fore meet­ing the baby.

Swap places with your part­ner and greet your dog while your part­ner waits out­side with bub.

Leash your dog, even if you have no rea­son to ex­pect a neg­a­tive re­ac­tion (it will give you more con­trol over the sit­u­a­tion).

Only then, bring the baby in to meet his / her “fur sib­ling”.

Re­main calm and let your dog sniff the baby’s feet and hands, re-fa­mil­iaris­ing it­self with the baby’s smell (avoid im­me­di­ate face-to-face con­tact).

From here, use your learned com­mands to con­trol ev­ery in­ter­ac­tion be­tween your baby and your dog, like mak­ing it “sit” or “go”.

As time goes on, teach your child how to han­dle the dog and foster a re­spect­ful two-way re­la­tion­ship, en­sur­ing they’ll be BFFS for life.

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