Dogs and babies – four tips for helping them coexist


Chances are, if you welcomed a dog into your home before getting pregnant, he was your first child. As a result, he might be a little jealous when you bring home a newborn. In order to ensure that your four-legged buddy will get along with your bundle of joy, you need to involve him in the process of getting ready for baby. Here are a few tips that might help.

1. Prepare your dog to receive a little less attention. You don't need to ignore him completely, but consider cutting down your cuddle time bit by bit. You might want to enlist the help of another family member who can develop another strong relationship with your companion while you have your hands full changing diapers and attending to feedings.

2. Introduce him to other children. If you have family members or friends with little ones, ask them to visit you to see how your dog reacts. It may also be a good idea to allow the children go on walks with your dog and offer him a few treats.

3. Give him a tour of the nursery. Once your baby's new room is all set up, bring your dog in to have a sniff around. He'll get used to the scent of baby powder, lotion and clean diapers. You might want to conduct a bit of training in the room as well, offering him rewards when he gets it right.

4. If you're up for it, try using a doll as a prop before the real baby arrives. When your dog is around, do things with the doll that you would with a newborn, like cradle it in your arms, change its diaper, talk to it and sit with it on the couch. Let your dog sniff a bit and reward him for good behavior.

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