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Dogs and Babies

Are you going to be welcoming a new baby into your home soon? If so, we would like to offer our congratulations! Your pup, however, may need to adjust to his new human sibling. Read on for advice from your Geist veterinarian on the transition.

Many dogs are absolutely wonderful with kids. A quick internet search of ‘dogs and children’ will turn up lots of adorable photos of canines and babies that are the best of friends. Dogs can be both protective and nurturing, and are often unbelievably tolerant of little ones tripping over them, and even pulling on tails. Other dogs may be a bit nervous around babies at first, especially if they have never been around infants before. Babies smell different from other humans, and they really make a lot of noise.

Here are a few pointers on helping Fido adjust to his new human family member:

Introductions

When it’s time to bring your new baby home and introduce him or her to your canine buddy, you’ll want to take time to make sure all interactions go smoothly. Having everyone else go into the home first will let your pup burn off some energy greeting the rest of the family, so he won’t be quite as excitable. Be sure that you are calm, relaxed, and happy, so Fido picks up only positive emotions. As a precaution, your pooch should be leashed the first time he meets your new child. You should be sitting down, holding the baby. Let Fido approach and sniff the baby. Give lots of kisses, cuddles, and praise for good behavior. You want your dog to make only positive associations with the child.

Bonding

As things settle down after the new arrival, Fido will become more and more used to your newest family member. One thing to keep in mind is that it’s best not to wait until your child is napping to have quality time with your pooch. Instead, include your furry pal in time spent with your child. Otherwise, your pooch may become jealous of the baby.

Training

Make sure Fido is trained to respond to standard commands such as ‘Sit’ and ‘Lay Down.’ If your furry buddy hasn’t mastered the basics of obedience training, take time before the baby arrives to really work with him. It may be helpful to teach Fido a few extra commands, such as ‘Drop it’ and ‘Stay’. This will help keep Fido from getting underfoot while you are caring for the baby, and will be very handy in case your pup wants to play with your baby’s toys.

Please contact your Geist vet clinic with any questions about your dog’s care.

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