Addition of a new family member is a joyous occasion. To humans, it’s a self-manageable shift, but for dogs, it is not quite the same. Though our pets aren’t the ones caring for the baby, they, too, need time to adapt to this change. Hence, knowing how our furry friends react to this change is vital, which is why we’ve compiled the essential need-to-knows to ensure your baby and your dog develop companionship.
Why are dogs good for babies?
Dogs are social beings and the bond between dogs and babies is unquestionably strong when developed the right way. When your pups and baby spend time together, it boosts your baby’s serotonin and dopamine levels (aka hormones for positive feelings).
Many leading dog behaviorists and trainers suggest that all dogs have instincts to live in a pack.This naturally brings the protective instinct. And when your dog and baby grow up together and develop bonding, the dog naturally becomes protective around the baby. Interestingly, babies raised with dogs are less prone to develop certain allergies and typically have stronger immunity, as suggested by pet health and wellness experts.
Dog and baby: Preparation and Introduction
To ensure your dog and baby can happily, peacefully and safely live together, here are few things you can do:
- Preparation: It is advisable to prepare your dog for the new schedule in advance. While you are still pregnant, set up the bassinet, crib, swing, pram and keep a doll in it. Let your dog get used to the new item in the house. Let them sniff the baby powder and lotions so that they are aware of the upcoming new smell in the house.
- Slow Introduction: Getting your dogs to accept your newborn into their territory takes time. Start by taking them outside your home to a neutral setting like the park and let them take a scent of your baby’s blanket before introducing them to your baby. This process may take time before your dog becomes comfortable to accept the new addition to their home.
- Provide a Dog Hideaway: Your dog may need some baby-free space to have some alone time which will help to prevent stress or unwanted reactions from your pet.
- Ensure your dogs get plenty of park walks: When dogs get general stimulation through proper exercise and socialization, they will be calmer and manageable. This trick could help your dog to be more receptive to the new addition in your family.
Dog behavior is dependent on breed
While we would like all dogs to get along easily with our babies, some breeds are naturally geared to adapt quickly, while others, not so much. Bringing your newborn home is more than just a family addition. To dogs, it means new senses and a routine switch-up, now that you have a baby to take care of. Therefore, knowing how your dog responds to these changes based on their personality traits and behavior is a must for all pet owners.
In general, babies do tend to make high-pitched sounds and, as they grow, may discover how to grasp and pull. Some breeds such as Golden Retrievers, Labradors, Collies, and Bulldogs are more tolerable to babies. Regardless of the dog breed, it is crucial to set the ground rules of what is okay and what is not okay for your baby and dog. Training your dog ahead of time and teaching your kids how to properly treat and respect your dog is also essential in developing a healthy relationship between the two.
Playing with and petting dogs may seem like a normal thing. However, in some cases, when they experience unwanted contact which may lead to the feeling of harassment, causing a not-so-pleasant response such as a growl or bite. Knowing your pet’s body language is vital to protect both your child and pet from unwanted incidents.
As parents, ensuring the safety of your baby and your pet is your utmost priority.
At YoPets, our GPS trackers help you live-track your dog in case you get a little too busy with your newborn baby. YoPets GPS tracker will be your second pair of eyes on your pet which will give you the full peace of mind.