How To Prepare A Dog For Baby | 8 Simple Tips Expecting Parents Can Use Today

Nothing can be a more exciting time in our lives than bringing our newborn baby home. Babies will learn to grow and flourish under their mother’s care. However, there may be one occupant of the household we haven’t thought about: our dogs. New parents from all over the country have probably wondered, “How do I prepare my dog for baby?” This helpful guide answers that imperative question.

How To Teach A Dog To Be Gentle With Babies

how to prepare a dog for baby - family going on walk
.Walks with the whole family show your dog and kids that they can enjoy their favorite activities together!

As mothers, a primary reason for concern is the fragility of our babies. They depend on us for everything. Luckily, nature’s instinct is already in your back pocket. Dogs are inherently keen to respond to hierarchy, meaning they act as a  protective leader.  Playful interaction with a baby can increase a dog’s dopamine levels, thus making them happier.

As the dog’s owner, ensure it has mastered the basic commands first. For example, our dogs may have been used to jumping up and licking strangers, but this behavior needs to be nipped in the bud.

Secondly, it’s beneficial to introduce dogs to children of various age groups to get used to kids, especially if this is your first baby. Here’s a simple fact to consider, too- babies are curious! They might want to pull or tug on your dog’s fur and tail. Use rewards or praise beforehand and get your pup used to this kind of attention.

These are all great things you can start working on to prepare a dog before your baby arrives!

Related post- Can having a dog prepare you for having a baby? Find out here!

Should I Use A Fake Baby For Dog Training? 

A fake baby can certainly be used as a way to prepare a dog for the real thing. However, what we do with the doll matters more. Even if it seems a tad ridiculous to us, treating the fake baby as our own is the best practice. After all, our dogs won’t know! 

Do everything a mother would do with their real baby. Talk and give attention to it, swaddle it up for a nap, and even carry it around the house. Don’t forget to reward your pet for staying on the floor ( all four paws) and getting them used to the reality that a new member has joined the household. 

If you really want to go the extra mile, consider taking your dog for a walk with the stroller- before the baby arrives! You can even put the doll in the stroller.

How Do I Teach My Dog Not To Be Jealous Of My Baby? 

woman folding baby clothes
To teach your dog not to be jealous of the baby, let him explore the nursery, baby clothes, and toys as you set it up.

Dogs are social creatures who love routine and undivided attention from their owners. Our furry companions can quickly become jealous of a new baby, but there are several tips we can implement to avoid this scenario. 

Use a baby gate to create a safe area your dog can go to be away from the baby. Or allow them to rest in their crate or dog bed so they can have their own ‘territory”
  • Allow the dog to be present when setting up the nursery- allow them to sniff the crib, blanket, and toys so they can get used to the new environment.
  • Have a designated “territory” in the house. That’s a dog’s dog’s defined space and never let the baby go near or play inside it. This area can be used so our pups can retreat if things are too chaotic or noisy. 
  • Include safe activities that a dog and baby could enjoy together (going for a walk, playing with bubbles, or even listening to music).
  • Show your dog some things haven’t changed with just a little one-on-one time. Once the baby arrives, pet them and give them attention. Or take them for a romp in the yard, even if it’s just for a few minutes.
  • And the hardest thing of all- be patient with your dog and yourself! Soon, everyone will adjust to the changes.

Related post- Choosing the right baby gate when you have a cat or dog

How Long Does It Take For A Dog To Adjust To A New Baby In The House? 

It isn’t easy to place a blanket answer to how long it takes a dog to get acquainted with a baby. It can depend on the type of dog we have and if they’ve experienced a baby in the home previously. We should expect at least a few months until there is an established feeling of normalcy with our dog and baby.

Most importantly, we have to remember that all our efforts could go by the wayside without consistency. A dog will adjust to our new baby, but don’t expect overnight success. Patience is key above all else.

Related post- How to baby-proof dog food and water bowls

Embracing The Change With Our Baby And Dog Together

relaxed dog
Eventually, your dog will consider life with a baby as the new normal- just like you!

Eventually, our dogs will come to realize that having a baby in the house is a normal thing. Just like anything else, a routine will get established after a while, and we’ll learn to love how gracefully our dog’s acceptance has grown towards the baby. Nothing will give you more pleasure than seeing how protective they can become of the most delicate member of the family.

Related post: Calm your dog quickly when the baby cries using these eight easy methods!

Wrap Up

Now you have lots of ideas to prepare your dog for the arrival of a new baby! To sum it up:

8 tips to prepare your dog for a baby
  • Ensure your dog has mastered basic commands and training
  • Introduce your dog to other small children
  • Practice paying attention to a baby doll
  • Let the dog check out the nursery and baby items
  • Make a private area for your dog alone
  • Spend a few minutes of 1-on-1 time with your dog
  • Be patient as everyone adjusts to the new routine
  • Plan activities all of you can do together, like going for a walk, playing outside, or listening to music

You might also like: How to introduce your dog to your baby

Leave a Reply