Ensuring a happy relationship between your dog and your newborn baby

Ensuring a happy relationship between your dog and your newborn baby

New parents who have a companion animal can prolong everyone’s joy by preparing their pet for the arrival of their new bundle of love.

February 6, 2023

There’s no question that a companion animal makes for a wonderful playmate for children. But a dog’s world can be disrupted by the arrival of a newborn baby. To avoid upset, make sure to plan ahead!

Before the stork arrives 
Start preparing your dog for the transition well before the joyful day.

1. Respect your pet’s space
Don’t alter your dog’s private space, including their bed, toys and daily environment.

2. Keep toys apart
Encourage your dog to explore the baby’s room, without letting them chew or appropriate toys. Be sure that your baby and your dog have different toys which are stored in separate locations.

3. Train your pet
It’s essential to train your dog well ahead of your baby’s arrival. Training will help limit problematic behaviour, while letting you test run your role as parent. Don’t hesitate to consult a professional if you experience difficulties. You can also prepare your dog by giving them all necessary treatments before you give birth. Once baby arrives, your life will be filled to the brim, and you probably won’t want to be rushing off to the groomer with your dog!

4. Make children a part of your daily life
If your dog is used to being around children, they will adapt more easily to the presence of a new baby and will likely be gentler around them. 

5. Get your dog used to less attention 
Try to pay a little less attention to your dog and encourage them to be more independent, starting a few weeks before your baby’s birth. This is a gentler approach than a sudden—and potentially hurtful—cliff drop in attention.

Once baby arrives
Your baby is here at last and all’s well! Before introducing your dog to your little pride and joy, let your dog sniff an object that has your baby’s smell. Once home, let your dog take their time to approach your child. Be sure, of course, to take extra care, especially if your dog has a potentially aggressive or nervous disposition.

If your dog is in any way aggressive towards your baby, address the situation immediately by scolding your dog. Consult your veterinarian immediately regarding all problematic behaviour and possible solutions.

Your newborn will no doubt keep you busy day and night. It’s important, however, to share one-on-one time with your dog and ensure they don’t feel left out. These moments will be as good for you as they are for your dog!

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