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Introductions: Old Dog & New Baby
Before you bring your dog to an animal shelter because you're concerned about how your dog is going to react to your new baby. Here are some tips that may make things less stressful.
Preparing Your Dog
One of the most important things in preparing your dog for a baby, is to actually prepare ahead of time. First, it's probably in your best interest to take your pet to the vet for a checkup. Worms and parasites can be harmful to your baby.
Also try to keep your dogs routine as normal as possible. Changes can stress out your dog, and cause unwanted behavior. Do not make too many changes all at once. If you need to adjust your dog to changes such as different walking schedules, it's best to do it months in advance before the arrival of the newborn.
Next, it may seem kind of odd, but it helps that you wear some baby lotion or baby powder about a month before baby comes home. You need to let your dog explore the babies items. Its room, diaper area, baby powder, etc. Let it smell around, after all dogs rely on their sense of smell.
NEVER allow your dog to play with your babies toys, or lay on its bedding. To much harm can unintentionally occur. Purchase your dog some toys that do not look like baby toys. With that being said, do not let your baby play with your dogs toys. Your child may accidentally get bit, as well as coming into contact with some pretty nasty germs.
It may also be a good idea, to get your dog around older children, and work your way to younger children and then your baby.
Introducing Your Dog To Your Baby
First thing when you arrive home with your new child, its important for someone to hold your dog. He might get excited to see you after you've been in the hospital for a few days. Lay your baby down and greet your dog. Give him a few minutes of your time, he's missed you. Give your dog a new toy, so that he has something positive to associate the baby with. Wait until your dog has calmed down from all the excitement before you introduce them to the baby.
Do not force the baby in front of the dogs face! If you're unsure of its behavior, feel free to leash up your dog for a while. You want the dog to smell the babies hands and feet. Allow the dog to explore the new smells at their own pace.
NEVER leave your dog and baby together unsupervised. A baby can make a lot of scary sounds and movements and your dog, who is new to everything, may try to bite in self-defense.
If by any chance your dog ever reacts aggressively, put her in another room, or chain her up outside until she is calm and try the introduction again. It's important not to give up, sometimes dogs need repeated training. There's no reason why your baby and dog can't live happily together, sometimes it just takes some time.
However, in the rare case where you are unable to get your dog to warm up to your child, and you feel you must get rid of your dog. Always remember, your dog was a part of your family. A shelter may end up putting your dog down. Take some time, to try find a new home for it on your own. Interview potential new doggy parents. Find a home your dog will love, don't take the chance that your dog may not get to live in suitable conditions.