Successfully Introducing Your Dog and New Baby

Dogs are incredibly loyal to their owners and often become a member of the family when dog and babythey are a puppy, making them the family baby. Growing up and caring for them in the same way as an actual baby can make them territorial, especially when it comes to introducing new family members.

 

When your family expands with the birth of a newborn, your dog may feel sad, frustrated and pushed aside by the baby. Ignoring your dog could lead to behavioral problems, like acting out, going to the bathroom inside, getting into things they’re not supposed to and so forth. This behavior is a cry for their attention, away from the baby.

 

Dogs find babies to be confusing little beings that make strange sounds, smell different and need their owners 24/7. Obviously you want to care for and cuddle your new bundle of joy, especially because their needs to be met as soon as possible. However, you can make your dog feel important and part of the process of caring for your newborn.

 

The first step to a successful relationship between dog and your baby is the introduction.

 

Prior to bringing the baby into the house, take a blanket that the baby was wrapped in at the hospital home so that your dog can get familiar with the scent.

 

Upon bringing the baby home, make sure the dog is greeted first with the same excitement and attention as every other day.

 

Once the “hellos” are exchanged, leash your dog gently and quietly and slowly bring the dog over to the baby carrier. The dog will want to smell the baby and may try to lick the baby. Avoid reprimands if possible and be sure to pet and speak softly to your dog with the command of “good boy/girl”.

 

Make sure the first meeting is quiet and in a communal space such as the living room. If you sense your dog is getting agitated or nervous, end the meeting and try again later.

 

Every day interactions should be positive. Some may think to keep the dog at bay unless the baby is sleeping, but you want to do the opposite. As you care for the baby, allow your dog to be right there so they do not feel left out.

 

It is a lot of work and patience, but over time, you can foster a successful bond between your dog and baby.

 

Introducing Your Dog To A New Cat

It is not uncommon for a dog to get along with a cat, especially when the two have grown Dogs and Cats getting alongup together. Co-habitation is a key element for developing a mutual friendship. However, when you are bringing a cat into the territory solely under the dog’s possession, this can create some sort of unwanted hostility.

 

Dogs are protective of their home, territory and pack. The new cat could be treated as another dog and pack member to be played with or as the enemy and threat to the territory. Older cats not associated with dogs, or around them often, could become aggressive and defensive as well.

 

If you are planning to bring home a new cat to meet your dog, there are some things you can do for a smooth introduction and lifelong friendship.

 Safety and comfort for both dogs and cats

  • You want both pets to feel safe and comforted in their home. To ensure the safety of your cat, hone in on your dog’s obedience skills. Simple commands of “sit” and “leave it” will help to calm down an overly excited dog, so the cat can sniff out their new environment.

 

  • For the first few days, keep your cat confined to a room with all they need. Allow your pets to get used to each other’s smell through the doorway. After a while, leave the door open with something blocking the entry. Walk the dog past the doorway several times a day and allow them to peek in at the cat. Reward good behavior with favorite treats.

 Introductions

  • Once your cat is no longer running and hiding when the dog approaches the door, or if they are curious enough, switch to a formal greeting in a common place like the living room.

 

  • If you are not in the room or home, keep the pets separate for a while. Interrupt any barking or chasing behavior as well.

 

Do not forget to give equal attention whenever possible.