How to Introduce Your Dog to a New Baby in the Family.


For many young couples, getting a dog comes before having a human child of their own. It may be one thing to master pet parenting, but quite another to bring up a little human bundle of joy! One of the things expectant parents worry about, is how their dog will take to a new born baby. In this Holidays4Dogs article, we offer some hints and tips on introducing your dog to a new baby in the family.

Children and dogs can be great together and millions of people can recall happy childhood memories with beloved family pets.  Dogs especially can be a huge source of comfort to children and studies have shown that kids who grow up with dogs in the household tend to have higher self esteem, as well as fewer allergies.

Natural worries.

However, it can still be a worry for new parents-to-be when it comes to bringing a baby home as. Naturally, new parents will feel protective of their new-born and may worry how their pet dog might react.

However, with careful preparation and planning, there is usually nothing to worry about when it comes to introducing a new baby to the pet dog.

Extra dog training.

No matter how well trained your dog is, there is always room for further training before the baby arrives. You could also accustom your dog to novel new items such as the pram, carry cot and other equipment. Spend some time teaching your dog useful commands such as ‘away’ i.e. move away from the baby, or from underfoot while you have your child in your arms.

Time alone.

Accustom your dog used to being on his own in another room, before the baby arrives. This will make things easier when you come to introduce your dog to a new baby. For example, it will be handy when you want to change, or feed the baby, especially if your dog is usually exuberant.

Get your dog used to restricted access to certain areas of the house, ( like the nursery), before the baby arrives. This is far better than struggling with a dog vying for attention at the same time as a crying baby.

Rather than simply shutting your dog away, make his time alone enjoyable. Provide him with a stuffed Kong, or other chew, which you only give him when he needs to spend a short while in another room.

Dog walks and care.

It’s likely you won’t have as much time to spend with your dog when you have a new born baby to attend to.

Take him on shorter walks, or consider asking a friend, family member, or dog walker to take your dog out for you. It would also be an idea to get your dog used to walking nicely alongside a pram, or pushchair, before there is actually a baby in it!.

On the day of baby’s arrival.

Some people bring home a blanket, or item of clothing belonging to the baby for the dog to sniff. When you do allow the dog to see the baby, keep him on the lead and allow him to sniff the baby’s feet first. This is the safest way to introduce your dog to a new baby in the family.

Don’t let him jump up. After a sniff or two, call him away and give him some very tasty treats. This way he will associate the baby with good things right from the beginning.

Mutual respect.

Your baby will most likely grow up being the best of friends with your dog. But remember, this is has to be a two-way relationship where there is mutual respect. As your baby grows you may need to become referee – always supervising when the two are together.

You must never allow your child to pull tails, climb inside dog crates, or ride them like ponies. Equally, your dog needs to know and respond to basic cues like sit, down, and leave.

Your dog also needs to understand that he must not jump up, or behave in a boisterous manner near a small person.

This level of training can be achieved with plenty of positive reinforcement. As your child grows, he or she can also be involved with training the family dog.

Health considerations.

Studies have shown, that children who grow with pets often have less health issues in later life. Having a dog in the household can mean children have fewer colds and are less prone to conditions such as asthma.

However, it is important to make sure your dog does not suffer from worms, or fleas. Additionally, it is important to clear the garden of dog deposits on a daily basis. Make sure dog bowls are clean and kept out of reach of crawling babies.


With preparation, there is no reason at all why dogs and babies can’t get along, providing introductions are carried out carefully. Of course, you should always carefully supervise interactions between children and dogs. However, the two are bound to have a wonderful relationship that will last for years.