If you already own a dog who is firmly accustomed to being the centre of your attention, you may find that bringing a new baby into the household may upset your beloved pet, which now has to vie for your love and affection.
And once your baby is up and moving, the physical threat that he now poses to your pet becomes very real! But bringing the two loves of your life – pet and baby – together so that they can live side by side as friends rather than adversaries isn’t impossible if you follow these suggestions:
- Get your dog acclimatised to what’s coming by gently pulling on his ears, tail and paws. Make it part of a game and reward him for his good behaviour.
- Get your dog used to your baby’s scent before you bring him home from hospital by asking your partner or a family member to offer him a piece of clothing or a wrap that your baby has worn.
- Give your dog lots of praise when he’s in the same room as your baby. Don’t ignore him when he’s behaving well and only give him your attention when you need to reprimand him – you want your dog to view your baby favourably so avoid making your dog feel as though your baby is competition.