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Introducing new babies to old pets

Bringing home baby is always an exciting time and can be a little daunting, especially if you have existing family members that may not have come across babies and small children before!

Posted: 3 October 2008
by Monica Stylli

Bringing home baby is always an exciting time and can be a little daunting, especially if you have existing family members that may not have come across babies and small children before! If you're about to introduce a new baby to your dog then you might consider the following advice from the experts at mypetstop, the luxury pet resort and care centres.

If you are worried that your dog will become a green-eyed monster upon the arrival of your new baby then you can begin to prepare your pet for the big changes about to happen. Naturally your pet is used to your undivided love and attention so it is important that you make them feel as comfortable as possible around your new addition.

There are many helpful items available including a CD called 'Sounds Soothing' which is designed to help prepare a dog for the arrival of a new baby. The CD contains a range of noises from crying babies to small children at play in order to help familiarise your pet with the new sounds it is about to encounter, and is available from Rattles and other baby toys (especially squeaky ones) can also be used in front of your pet before the baby is introduced to them.

Basic obedience training is also important as this will allow your dog to be socially versatile. If you are concerned about your dog's ability to be obedient then you may consider taking him/her to training classes as it is vital that you are in control of your dog and not the other way round.

Dogs should also be familiar with the smells of a baby before they are introduced. Baby creams, lotions and potions should be used around your pet before the meeting, especially if he hasn’t smelt them before. Dog trainers at mypetstop® suggest that before your baby is brought home for the first time it is wise to bring a blanket home with the baby's smell on it so that your dog can get used to it.

Introducing your dog to your baby should be done carefully and it is imperative that the two of them should not be left alone together. If the baby cries or screams, try to reassure your dog that this is just normal and if they bark then try to teach them to be quiet and reward them heavily when they obey you - this way your dog will associate pleasant experiences with the baby.

If your dog is a bit rowdy and boisterous it is wise to trim their nails as even a simple giving of a paw can cause problems for a baby. If hygeine is of particular concern then you can have your pet checked thoroughly for ticks and other health risks. If your dog is allowed on the bed or furniture but you want this to stop when the baby arrives, then make sure you do this in advance, using tips from your dog trainer.

If your baby is crying, screaming, or waving their arms and legs, your dog may play-leap on the infant. If this is the case, then it may be advisable to muzzle your pet when near your baby to begin with until everything has calmed down. In this type of fragile situation dogs should be allowed to see the baby from 10 to 15 feet away and gradually reintroduced if it is safe to do so.

Your dog, being your other baby, needs to be treated like one. Spend some quality time with your beloved pet every day and remember that the introduction of a new family member is a massive upheaval in his life as well as yours.

For further advice on training your dogs visit

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pets, mypetstop, safety, dog, baby

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