Hello, friends! Winston here. There sure are a lot of new babies in the world right now! I just love babies — they’re giggly and sweet and they’re always dropping food on the floor for me to eat.
But from what I’ve seen, bringing a new baby home can also be stressful. And if you have a few fur babies in the mix, the transition can be a bit tricky! Don’t fret — I’ve got some helpful tips for introducing your new baby to your pet.
Health and wellness
First things first: Make sure your furry family member is in tip-top shape before bringing home baby. Pets should be up to date on their vaccines and monthly flea and heartworm medications. They should also be well-groomed, including their nails. And as much as it pains me to say it, your pets really should be spayed or neutered well before baby comes home. Neutered pets have far fewer health problems, and research has proven time and time again that they experience fewer behavioral issues like marking, aggression and resource guarding.
If you’ve been meaning to work on teaching your furry friend some manners, like not jumping up and sitting calmly when guests arrive, now is the time! I find that patience and lots and lots of treats are the keys to training any dog.
If you already have some of the requisite furniture and baby gear ready to go, start getting your pup introduced to the new arrangement now. Go for walks with your dog and the stroller together, let him into the baby’s room to explore and take inventory of all the new smells, and start moving any furniture/belongings now to avoid a rushed transition.
If you plan to set some boundaries, like no dogs near the crib, it’s best to start implementing these new rules well before baby arrives. We dogs can get attached to our territories, so if you need to move our bed or toys, it’s best to do so slowly.
The big day
While the day you bring baby home may be the happiest day your life, remember that it might also be the most confusing day of your fur baby’s life. Most parents just want to fast-forward through the transition and get to the part where pup and baby are best friends, but it takes small, smart steps to get there.
When baby come home, greet your pup and give him a treat. If your dog is rambunctious kind, keep him leashed for a few minutes to make sure nobody gets overwhelmed. Once your pup has calmed down, let him gently smell the baby’s feet and head. As long as your dog stays calm, the whole family can enjoy baby’s first day home.
Keep up these small, slow introductions and they’ll be rolling around in the mud together in no time!