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Paws and cribs: A guide to introducing your dog to your new baby in Boston

family, pet, domestic animal and people concept - happy family with labrador retriever dog walking  in summer park.

Welcoming a new baby into your Boston home is a joyous occasion, but it also marks a significant change for your furry family member. Introducing your dog to your new bundle of joy requires careful planning, patience, and understanding to ensure a smooth transition for everyone involved. In this guide, we'll explore essential steps to help you navigate the process of acclimating your beloved dog to their newest family member.

Prepare gradually

Before your baby arrives, make gradual changes to your dog's routine. Shift feeding times, adjust walking schedules, and introduce any new baby-related items, such as strollers or cribs, ahead of time. This gradual approach helps your dog adapt to the changes before the baby's arrival. As we discuss later, though, be sure to make sure these changes are gradual rather than abrupt or large shifts in routine, which could shock or confuse your pet.

Obedience refresher

A well-trained dog is better equipped to adapt to new situations. Consider brushing up on your dog's basic obedience commands to ensure they respond promptly to cues such as "sit," "stay," and "leave it." These commands can be useful when managing interactions between your dog and your new baby.

Positive associations

Associate positive experiences with baby-related items. Allow your dog to explore baby gear and nursery items while rewarding them with treats and praise. This creates positive associations and helps your dog view these items as harmless and even enjoyable.

Gradual introduction

When you bring your baby home, consider having someone else hold the baby while you greet your dog. This prevents your dog from associating the baby's arrival with your divided attention. Allow your dog to approach and sniff the baby at their own pace while maintaining a calm and positive atmosphere.

Controlled interactions

Initially, keep interactions between your dog and baby short and controlled. Use baby gates or playpens to create a safe distance while allowing your dog to observe the baby from a comfortable vantage point. Gradually increase the length of these interactions as your dog becomes more accustomed to the baby's presence.

Positive reinforcement

Reward your dog for calm behavior around the baby. Use treats, praise, and gentle petting to reinforce positive interactions. If your dog shows curiosity or interest in the baby without displaying signs of anxiety or aggression, acknowledge their curiosity with positivity.

Maintain routine

Dogs thrive on routine, and the arrival of a new baby can disrupt their schedule. Strive to maintain regular feeding, exercise, and playtime routines as much as possible. Ensure you are maintaining your regular dog walking schedule or outdoor potty walks as much as possible. Consistency helps your dog feel secure and reduces potential stress during the adjustment period.

Supervised activities

Supervise all interactions between your dog and baby. As your baby grows, they may become more mobile and curious, leading to unpredictable movements that might startle your dog. Always be present to ensure the safety of both your baby and your dog.

Create a welcoming environment

As your family expands to include your new baby, maintaining a clean and hygienic living space becomes even more crucial. At DoodyCalls of Eastern Ma, we understand the importance of providing a safe and clean environment for your entire family, including your dog and your new baby. Our professional pet waste removal services ensure that your outdoor spaces remain free from waste, creating a healthy and enjoyable space for everyone to thrive.

Learn more about how we can help you maintain a clean and inviting outdoor environment for your beloved pet and your new baby here. Let's work together to ensure a harmonious transition as your family grows, and remember, we scoop the poop so you don't have to!