If you’ve recently welcomed a new addition to your family, and you already have a loyal furry friend at home, you might be wondering how your dog will respond to the new arrival and whether it’s safe for pups and babies to be together. While dogs are incredibly affectionate and loving, welcoming a new little person to the fold can be a challenge, and there are safety risks to consider.
Is it safe to have a dog around a newborn baby?
If you’re bringing a newborn home, it’s understandable to have questions about the safety of having pet dogs around a newborn baby. In the vast majority of cases, you’ll find that your dog is very interested in this tiny little bundle that has appeared out of nowhere, and in time, they’ll probably be desperate to get to know them. Initially, dogs might struggle with the fact that they are no longer the center of attention, and it may be difficult for them to adapt to a new routine. When you bring a baby home, your life will change, and this will undoubtedly impact your pets too.
When it comes to safety, it’s critical to be vigilant when you have pets and a newborn. Even the most docile, loving, and gentle dog can display unpredictable behavior, and this is why it’s vital never to leave dogs and newborn babies alone together. Your dog should be supervised at all times, and it’s best to introduce your pup to his or her new sibling gradually. Increase the amount of exposure to enable them to get used to each other as your baby grows and the dog becomes accustomed to the new dynamic.
If you’ve seen images or photographs on social media of dogs sleeping with babies, no doubt you’ve cooed and thought they were incredibly cute. While it is lovely for dogs and babies to build a relationship, it’s incredibly dangerous for dogs to sleep with newborns. Newborn babies should always sleep alone in a safe environment. Cats and dogs should be kept out of cribs and nurseries, and newborns should not be left unattended with a dog at any time.
Getting your dog used to a newborn
Dogs crave human attention, and when there’s a new baby around, they can feel like they’ve been pushed out. Try and ensure your dog gets plenty of love and affection, treat them to the best pet food, and ask a friend or relative to help out with walking and exercise. When you have free time, for example, while your baby is sleeping, take a moment to cuddle up with your dog and ensure they still feel special.
Dogs are wonderfully loving, and they usually take to new additions to the family very well, but it can take time for them to adjust. If you have a pet pooch, and you’re preparing to bring a new baby home, limit contact during those first few weeks, and never leave the baby and the dog alone together. Even the softest dogs can react unpredictably if they feel threatened or scared.