Babies and Dogs: When the baby arrives

If you're planning well in advance, read our section on what to do in the months leading up to the birth to get prepared. Read on to find out what to do on the day you bring your new baby home.

  • Try not to make a big deal with your dog about the arrival of the new baby. Teach him how to approach the baby properly and gently. Allow the dog to make safe initial investigations and approaches.
  • Help your dog to see the baby as a nice thing to be around. Give your dog treats and lots of praise when he behaves well around the baby.
  • Do not place the baby on the floor with your dog and never hit or shout at him for approaching the baby in the wrong way. Gently, show the dog what you wish him to do and reward him when he gets it right.
  • Make sure that your dog has enough exercise and things to do – a bored dog with too much energy can get up to all sorts of mischief while you are busy with your new baby. Do try to ensure your dog has as much attention and time with you as possible.
  • If you have any worries about your dog’s behaviour after the baby has arrived, consult your vet as soon as possible, who will refer you to a good local animal behaviourist.
  • NEVER leave a baby or child alone with any dog, no matter how trustworthy you think they are; it just isn’t worth the risk.
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