7 Tips on how to prepare a dog for a new baby. - Lakatwalk - a fashion and lifestyle blog.

7 Tips on how to prepare a dog for a new baby.

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

One of my main concerns when I think about my new baby is how it will get along with the first 'baby' in our home - our dog Papi. Let me tell you a bit more about Papi so you can understand a bit better why this is my big concern and then I will share all that I learned during researching this topic in details by reading different books and articles and talking to my friends who have pets and babies.


Papi is a mixture of a hunting dog and a royal puddle. Mid size dog with a larger then life character. In his short life (he is now 4.5 years old) he already lived in three countries Croatia, Hungary and Spain and during his first few years he flew and traveled more then the average businessman so now he is on his 5th passport. Papi hates flying and staying in a cannel. Luckily, for the last 2 years he only travels for vacation and stays most of the year in Barcelona.

Papi is very protective of my boyfriend and I and extremely attached to both of us. He cries even when we leave the house for a little bit to go to buy bread or newspapers. When I work in my office he sleeps on my feet with his head on my foot or his paws wrapped around my leg. Papi doesn't like house guests. When a doorbell rings the whole neighborhood can hear him barking. He doesn't like men with long beards. 

Papi enjoys long walks on the Passeo de Gracia, Barcelona's luxury shopping street, he especially enjoys peeing in front of the door of Gucci, Prada and the other high end stores. He fights with boys and loves playing with female dogs. When I take him to the dog park he sits on the bench. Papi eats yogurt for breakfast and enjoys Argentinian steak leftovers. He sleeps curled up next to me in bed, close enough to feel my heartbeat. Papi's favorite actor is Kevin Spacey and he doesn't let us change the TV channel when his movie is on. Papi is our first baby in the family and my best friend for life. 


I researched this topic a lot and this is what I learned so far:

1. Give your dog anti-parasite medication monthly during your whole pregnancy and up to when your baby is one year old. (I got this advice from both my doctor and my vet.) 

When you are pregnant your immune system is weakened (so your body doesn't reject the baby) so you are more prone to get infected if your dog get's any of the parasites. The same goes for your baby up to when he is one year old. Papi really likes this medicine, it's shaped as a small bone and seems like it tastes good as he eats it alone like a candy.

2. Refresh your dog's training or hire a professional to help you train your dog if he doesn't yet listed to the basic commands (sit, stay, stop, let go etc.).

If you haven't done any training with your dog your 9 months of pregnancy is more then enough time to do it. Your dog needs to know who is a leader of his pack (that would be you) and how to behave before you bring a new baby into your home. If your dog is well trained use the time of your pregnancy to refresh on his training and to spend enough time walking him. 

3. Baby's room is 'off limits'.

If a baby's room will be a 'no go area' for your dog (which is recommended by dog expert Cesar) establish this rule long before baby enters the house so your dog doesn't necessary realizes the connection with a baby. First start with establishing an invisible barrier for your dog and then later slowly allow him to enter and sniff some areas of the baby's room under your supervision and to exit the room at your command. After all, the baby's safety comes first. 

4. Introduce your dog to baby's scent.

A lot of resources I read said that your husband/boyfriend should bring a piece of baby's clothing, a cloth it was wrapped in or a burp cloth to your home and introduce it to the dog before you bring the baby home so you can claim your baby's scent and your dog will adapt to it and connect it with a baby when it arrives in person. Practice control by challenging your dog to sniff this item from a distance before approaching it so he or she knows that he needs your permission to interact with a baby.

5. Introduce your dog to the baby.

Cesar advises to take the dog on a long walk before bringing the baby home and drain his energy so you it can be easier to control him when introducing to a baby. When baby enters the house the dog will know that there is this new somewhat familiar scent in the house. Let him sniff the baby at the safe distance. Don't let your dog come to close on the first introduction. Slowly, over time, allow your dog to come closer and closer under your supervision and meet the new member of your pack. 

6. Teach your baby to respect the dog.

From the first day your baby enters your home you need to teach her/him to be aware and respect your dog's space, it needs to be clear for your baby that its not ok to touch your dog's tail, face, to hit him hard or to go after him when dog isn't in the mood to play. Never leave your dog alone with your child and never assume that if your dog is very small and was never aggressive that he won't hurt your child. There were cases when small and cute dogs have also bitten and even killed small babies. 

7. Teach your dog to respect your baby.

Make sure you keep the role of the leader and to keep up with your dog's feeding, walking and playing routine after the baby arrives. If you did an introduction properly your dog should already know the boundaries but always make sure you are supervising the time your dog and your child spend together. 

Do you have any good tips from your own experience? 

Post them in the comment bellow! 
I am really curious to read and learn from you!


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