There was no doubt in my mind that my dogs would absolutely LOVE my daughter. They follow her around now like they used to do to me. If she cries, they are concerned for her well being. They lick her tears away. They let her experiment with patting and grabbing their fur. They wait by her bedroom door in the morning and sniff to make sure she’s in there. They can’t wait for me to wake her up so they can wiggle and parade around for her. They have become more territorial on our walks and warn any other dog that she is “their baby.” Yet, there are a few things I did before my daughter was born and continue to do now to make sure this special bond will last:
1). Have someone from the hospital bring home a blanket with your baby’s scent so they can smell it before you come home! I know this can be tough to do now because of Covid 19. If you are able to have someone watch your dog(s) the first couple of days you are home with your newborn and give them a blanket instead. That way, they can adjust to the new baby smell before coming home to their new favorite tiny human!
2). Play youtube videos of babies crying so they are familiar with the sound.
3). Have a baby scented candle around the house (yes, these do exist).
4). Baby toys squeak! Just like dog toys. Try to have a few baby toys around before your baby is born. Throw them on the ground, hold them and make them squeak! When your dog shows interest, tell him to leave it and direct him towards one of his own toys.
5). Once she/he is here, try and include your dog in daily activities. Going on walks together is a BIG deal. They were the only ones in your life before the baby! So let them know that your new bundle of joy is now a part of the pack.
All of these suggestions will make your dog(s) more comfortable with your baby but the most important thing to always do is be patient and kind. Their whole world has instantly changed and it may take them some time to adjust. Not all dogs are happy like mine about having a new baby in their life. They may rebel and act out to get your attention. I have seen dogs go backwards in training and act like they aren’t housebroken anymore. When this happens, it can be extremely frustrating for you. Just remember how they must feel and try to work through these set backs. Usually they aren’t getting much attention when they rebel, so try taking them on a special adventure! Bring them to their favorite walking trail or get them their favorite treat. Of course, don’t do this after they do the unwanted behavior because it will confuse them in thinking they are being rewarded for it.
I hope these tips will help you feel a bit more confident welcoming your newborn into the life of your pets. Feel free to e-mail me with anymore questions and I will be more than happy to help!