As families expand and a new baby comes home, the entire household adjusts to a new person, which means your pup does, too. Similar to any other major life changes, like a big move or adding another pup to your pack, your dog might need some time to adjust to their new normal.
There are a few things that you can do before and during the introduction between your dog and baby that can help set your family up for as much success as possible.
Before the Baby
When you find out you’re expanding your family, one of the best things you can do to prepare your dog and your entire household is to brush up on your dog’s training. If your pup hasn’t yet been to a training class, now might be one of the best times to take them to correct any behavior like jumping or barking that could become a bigger problem around a new family member.
If your dog has never been around children before, you can start bringing your dog around kids on a leash, like at a park, or walking next to friends who have kids to get your dog more comfortable around them as the kids sound and move differently than adults do. If you do this, though, make sure these are children that understand how to respectfully interact with dogs.
Bringing the Baby Home
When you first arrive home with your new bundle of joy, everyone should go into the house to say “hi” to the dog so they can still have the same high excitement as they normally would. Have some treats on hand to give your dog when the baby enters the room to have some positive reinforcement. Remember that when you enter the room with the baby, stay relaxed! As you enter, talk to your dog in a calm but happy voice while someone else gives the dog treats throughout the initial greeting. You can also give your dog some commands like sit so they have something else to focus on. If your dog is interested in the new baby, give them praise for any calm interest they have towards the baby. Just like in other training, work to not reprimand your dog for bad behavior but instead praise and encourage good behavior, and reward when they exhibit calm relaxed behaviors.
When you feel your dog is ready to meet the new baby officially, pick a quiet room and have someone else leash the dog while you sit with the new baby. If your dog is interested and is acting calmly, let them come over and sniff the baby’s feet. After a few seconds, praise your pup calmly and then ask them to do a command such as to lay down by your feet. You can repeat this a few times and of course, use treats to do so. Once you’ve completed this interaction, give your pup a new toy or bone to distract them. Natural Farm’s Collagen Sticks are a great, long-lasting dog chew option that are tasty and nutritious and with both six- and twelve-inch options, they are great for dogs big and small.
At Home With a New Baby
It’s always a good reminder that dogs can sense the emotions that are around them. If you’re anxious or nervous, chances are you’re making your pup feel those emotions, too. Try to breathe normally and stay calm, especially as your pup interacts with your new baby.
As you get used to your new routine, don’t forget about your dog. Make sure that they still get plenty of exercise, and if you do anything at a specific time such as feeding them breakfast and dinner or giving them a special treat in the afternoon, make sure you keep those routines in place for your dog.
As you do new things with the baby, such as feeding them or other interactions that might be new to your dog, you can give them small treats to associate the new actions with a positive experience.
Always supervise your dog and baby when they are together and don’t leave them alone in the same room. Since your baby is growing and experiencing new things every day, your baby might make a new sound or do a new action that could startle or scare your dog, so supervision is key.
Creating a Safe Place
A safe place for your dog is essential during normal times but is of the utmost importance when life changes are happening so your dog can go to their place to feel safe and secure. If you crate your dog, remember that it is your dog’s home and theirs alone and should always be off-limits to kids. Your pup's crate should be big enough so they can stand, turn, and lie down comfortably.
Another useful tool is to train your pup to have a "place" command, that way, if they are over-excited or you just want to create some space between them and baby, they can go to their place and stay there as needed. "Place" is also a great command to use when you have visitors in your home meeting baby. In "place" they should not be bothered—this is a great opportunity to offer a chew or treat while they are calmly relaxing in their spot.
Natural Farm is an all-natural dog treat company with a variety of chews your dog will love, visit our store page to see our entire collection!
About Natural Farm
In 2018, after years of searching for high-quality, natural dog treat products, we decided to bring them to the market ourselves. That’s how Natural Farm was born—we wanted to present the industry with what it lacked the most: natural dog chews, treats, and bones, sustainably sourced from local suppliers and produced in our own human-grade, FDA- and USDA-approved facilities, where every product is lab tested for quality and contamination.
Natural Farm is committed to pets, people, and the planet. We give back to communities and pets in need, support reforestation efforts and nonprofits, and our products are packaged using recycled materials.
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