Whether you are bringing home a new baby or bringing home a new puppy, you cannot expect everything to work out right away. Introducing a dog to a baby, or vice versa, is an important process that can take some time. It is not impossible; you just need to look out for the safety of both beings. Before you know it, your new addition will become the perfect addition to your family!

If you are bringing home a new baby to your long-time pet, then there are a couple of things you can do before the baby arrives. First of all, make sure your pet is socialized with other people. A pet who enjoys the company of others is more likely to accept the new child and less likely to show aggression towards him or her. Your dog should also be trained or in the process of training. A well-trained dog is easier to handle in a variety of situations. If your dog obeys and respects you as his leader, then he will listen to you. An untrained dog can be unruly and hard to control around a child. Having your pet crate trained is also a plus, because you can send him to his crate. It is also a good idea to buy your pet some new toys right before the baby arrives to give him extra things to play with.

If your dog sleeps in your room and you are placing a crib in your room, then you need to break him of this habit long before the baby arrives. If he is crate trained, then place the crate in your room, along with his favorite bedding. Transition him slowly to the crate; you don’t want him to think he has done something wrong by suddenly forcing him to sleep in the crate. By the time your baby arrives, your dog should be satisfied with and accustomed to his new sleeping arrangements.

To get your dog used to the new baby smell, then bring home a baby blanket from the hospital that your baby used. Don’t wash the blanket. Instead, place the blanket near your dog’s crate, and give him a chance to get accustomed to the baby odor. That way, when you bring the baby home, your pooch won’t be overwhelmed by the new smell.

Once you bring home the baby, it is extremely important that you do not ignore your pooch. He has been there for you and received a lot of attention from you until now. A new baby takes up lots of time, but you still need to spend time with your pup. He will not understand that the baby is the reason he is not receiving attention. He will try to get your attention in other ways, often through destructive behavior. If he is accustomed to a daily walk, then do not break the habit. In the beginning, if needed, hire a dog walker to play with your pooch. If there is a dog-friend down the street, then schedule a play date. Whatever you do, make sure your dog gets the attention he deserves.

Don’t let your dog lick your baby. Most of the time, licking is a sign of submission, communication or love. However, your baby has not built up an adequate immune system. Bacteria in your dog’s saliva may not hurt you, but it may make your baby sick. It is also important to keep your dog and your baby separated most of the time. You never know when your dog may get curious about the baby. Any sort of contact between the two should be completely supervised. You can let your dog check out the child, but not touch or lick. Also, keep the dog at a safe distance. If your baby suddenly cries, then your dog could be startled. You want to make sure that he is far enough away so that you can still have control. Your dog should never have access to your baby’s crib. If needed, purchase a pet gate to prohibit access to the baby’s room.

Introducing a baby to an existing pooch is a delicate process. It may take some time, but do not get discouraged. No matter what, continue to pay your dog an adequate amount of attention once you bring the baby home. If needed, hire a dog walker to take your pooch out of the house. For safety reasons, never leave the dog and the baby unattended. If you are careful and precautious, then bringing home a baby to your dog will be a piece of cake.

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