How To Prepare Your Dog For a New Baby

Buddy Waggles Author: Buddy Waggles
Posted: 08 Jan 2024 Human Reading Time: 4 Minutes
Dog Reading Time: 28 Minutes
How To Prepare Your Dog For a New Baby

Although welcoming a new baby into the family is a wonderful moment, your dog may experience anxiety and need time to adjust to the new normal. Here at BullyBillows, we understand how crucial it is to get your dog ready for this new family member. 

In this article, we go through valuable tips and insights on how to help your dog adjust to the arrival of a new baby, aiming to help provide a smooth and harmonious transition for everyone involved. 

From training techniques to creating a safe environment, we've got you covered. Let's make this a positive experience for both your dog and your growing family.

Introduce your dog to baby sounds

You can begin this step as soon as you find out you’re expecting a baby. It doesn’t cost anything, and it’s always a good idea to desensitise your dog to baby sounds (let’s do our best to lessen the chances of having to hear a baby cry AND a dog bark simultaneously!).

Play the sounds of babies eating, playing and crying. We recommend starting with cheerful sounds like playing. Although this could be high-pitch, it could be less anxiety-inducing than crying.

Do this gradually and begin on a very low volume. Slowly work your way up to playing the audio clips to the volume a baby would naturally be. This might take some time, so don’t rush it. 

Baby noises can be easily found on YouTube. 

Can dogs sense pregnancy?

It has been reported that dogs may detect their owners' pregnancy by certain behaviours. Numerous dog owners have seen behavioural changes in their dogs while they are pregnant, despite the fact that scientists have different opinions on the precise ways in which dogs sense pregnancy. Some dogs could become more protective of their pregnant, while others might show indications of nervousness. 

Dogs may also be able to feel hormonal changes in their pregnant owners because of their excellent sense of scent, which might have an impact on how they behave. This is all completely dependent on the dog, some dogs may be none-the-wiser!

Preparing your dog for a newborn 

Preparation is key. Before the baby arrives, gradually introduce your dog to baby-related sounds, smells, and items, such as baby lotion or powder.  The first step in preparing your fur baby for a human baby is equipment. Instead of waiting till your baby is here, set up things like baby chairs and mobiles (especially any equipment that may be particularly noisy!).

Setting these objects up prior to the birth of your new baby should help desensitise your dog to them, making them less interested once the baby is here. 

Here’s a list of objects to set up in the months prior to your baby’s birth:

  • Mobile
  • Highchair
  • Changing stations
  • Set up baby toys, and ensure your dog knows they aren’t their toys. 

How to introduce your dog to your baby

The first step is bringing your baby home from the hospital. 

Introducing a newborn baby to your dog after returning home from the hospital is a significant milestone that requires careful planning, patience, and consideration for both your dog's well-being and the safety of your new family member. 

Prioritising safety and monitoring throughout the baby's early encounters with your dog is of utmost importance. There may be a big adjustment when a new family member joins the pack, even if your dog has always behaved well around people and kids.

If you have been in the hospital for an extended period of time, your pup is very likely to have missed you, a lot! Consider arriving home and meeting your dog alone before introducing them to your newborn. If you have the space, meet your dog and take them to the baby slowly, reassuring your dog they are not a threat.

Top tip: Before bringing your baby home, consider having a family member or friend bring home an item of clothing or a blanket with the baby's scent for the dog to become familiar with. 

What to look out for

It's important to pay attention to your dog's behaviour and body language around your baby. When a dog exhibits signs of tension, including pacing or whining, it is important to treat them with compassion. 

To address any underlying concerns, see a dog trainer or behaviourist if your dog exhibits problematic behaviour.

Key takeaways for introducing a dog to a newborn baby

Establish clear boundaries

Training your dog to understand boundaries when it comes to your new baby is one of the most important steps. Our fur babies will respect you and your newborn if you maintain boundaries.

Supervise dog and baby interactions

This one probably goes without saying, but make sure you or a trusted adult is present when your baby and your fur baby are together. 

Remain positive

Consistent training and positive reinforcement can help reinforce good behaviour and create a safe environment for both your dog and you new baby. Make sure your dog understands when they are doing well. Keep on top of positive reinforcement. For example, when you say ‘leave’ if your dog approaches your baby’s things, show them some love for listening. 

Keep your dog calm and comfortable

There is an abundance of tools and techniques out there to help keep your dog calm and comfortable. Two of which are blankets and the use of hemp oil. And, you’re in the right place.

Shop Dog Hemp Oil | Shop Dog Blanket

Enforce a routine

Dogs thrive in routine! Keep their walks, feeding time, and playtime as regular as possible. 

We hope you found this guide on how to prepare your dog for a new baby in the home helpful. Remember, if you think your dog may be suffering from jealousy, depression or anxiety about your new arrival, get in touch with a dog behaviouralist for professional help.

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