Rachel is a stay-at-home pet mom, caring for her dog, cat, turtle, tortoise, and fish. She's a content writer in various niches but most notably in the pet field, educating pet parents on the health and wellbeing of their furry friends. When she's not writing, she's reading, playing video games, or organizing something.
Dog Tips

Tips for Introducing a Dog to a New Baby

Rachel Poli Author
Apr 8 ·
Dog to a New Baby

So, your dog is getting a new baby sibling. How exciting! There’s a lot to do to prepare for the new baby, but also to get your dog used to having a baby around the house. Let’s talk about some tips for introducing a dog to a new baby.

When To Start Preparing Your Dog for the New Baby

Some breeds will tolerate children more than others when it comes to young children and dogs. However, all dogs are smart, and they recognize their family members.

If you adopt a dog after having children, they’ll grow up together and be best friends.

On the other hand, you may already have a dog when you and your partner decide to have a baby.

When this happens, you’ll want to prepare your dog as best you can before the baby arrives. Then, your dog will be able to sense that something is different about you. In some cases, this is when the bonding begins between your baby and your dog.

However, this doesn’t mean that your dog will automatically be used to sharing the attention and the crying.

Introducing The Dog to a New Baby – Three Months Before Your Due Date

At this point, you most likely have what you need for the baby – clothes, blankets, bottles, a stroller, a car seat, and everything in between. The nursery may already be up and running, if not almost finished.

Let your dog explore these items. Allow them to get familiar with seeing them around the house. If you want, carry a doll around with you and teach your dog to be gentle around the doll.

Use words, such as:

  • Baby
  • Sibling
  • Gentle
  • Your baby’s name (if you already have one picked out)
Dog to a New Baby

Using these words will make your dog familiar with them. Then, they’ll get trained to learn what they mean so that they may recognize the child as their “sibling when the baby comes.”

Overall, you’ll want them to get used to having something else around. So whether you’re carrying a doll, a diaper bag, or something else, get your dog familiar with these items.

For example, when you take your dog for a walk, practice bringing the stroller. Yes, it sounds silly pushing an empty stroller, but your pup will get used to sharing the sidewalk with you and the stroller.

In other words, you can retrain your dog to walk on their leash so that they don’t tug or wander to sniff when you have the baby with you. 

Also, if you have a doll handy, keep it in your lap sometimes. Teach your dog that sometimes you won’t always be able to cuddle because you’ll have the baby with you.

Depending on how big your pup is, they may or may not be a lapdog and get jealous when they can’t cuddle with you. Set aside some time to cuddle with your dog and give them attention when you don’t have the baby in your arms, so they don’t feel left out.

One Month Before Your Due Date

At this time, make sure you know who will care for your dog while you’re at the hospital. If you get a sitter, make sure they come to the house a few times so that your dog is familiar with them. Alternatively, you can have a friend or family member care for them.

This will help prepare your dog if you go into labor in the middle of the night and have to leave abruptly. Someone familiar will come to get your dog so they won’t be too stressed out.

Dog to a New Baby

When You’re in the Hospital

After the baby arrives, someone can take one of the baby’s blankets or clothing items to bring home to your dog.

Let your dog sniff it and get familiar with the baby’s scent. When you get home, the dog will already recognize the baby.

Introducing The Dog to a New Baby – When You Come Home With

First, your dog is going to be all over you. They’ve missed you and are so excited you’ve come home. So, give your pup some attention, cuddles, pets, and kisses.

Then, when they’ve calmed down a bit, sit down on the couch with the baby and allow your dog to sniff their new sibling so they can get acquainted.

Whenever your dog is calm around the baby, reward them with praise, pets, and treats.

Also, dogs can sense that feeding time is intimate. So, when feeding the baby, make sure you praise the dog for being calm and giving you space, so they know feeding is a positive time.

Quick Tips

Finally, here are a few last-minute tips.

Utilize baby gates. Sometimes, you’ll need to give your baby some space from the dog. So, make sure the dog has its area where it can roam free without disturbing tummy time.

Dog to a New Baby

Teach your child to be gentle with the dog. As they get older, they’ll be more curious about your pup. Make sure they know how to pet the dog gently and know when to give it space.

Also, always supervise the dog and the baby together. Anything can happen (even accidentally) if you turn your eyes away for a second.

Give Them Time

Overall, it’ll take some time for your dog to get used to the child being around. Depending on the dog’s age and breed size, training them to get used to the baby (and their new lifestyle) will take time. But with patience and consistency, your dog and baby will become good friends. 

Rachel Poli Author
Rachel is a stay-at-home pet mom, caring for her dog, cat, turtle, tortoise, and fish. She's a content writer in various niches but most notably in the pet field, educating pet parents on the health and wellbeing of their furry friends. When she's not writing, she's reading, playing video games, or organizing something.
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