How To Introduce Your Dog To A New Pet Or Baby
A neutral territory introduction
To avoid a turf war, make the introduction between your dog and cat (or any other animal) on neutral territory, like a park. Even as humans we like to get to know someone before inviting them home. It’s the same with dogs! Let them play around and get to know each other before sharing the same space.
Step by step meetings
Once you’ve brought your new pet home, let them spend time with each other for short periods of time. As each gets used to the smell and sound of the other, you can have them around each other for increasing periods of time. Newly introduced dogs and cats together must not be left unsupervised and remember to always be on the lookout for aggressive body language.
Give each animal their own specific bed, food dishes, water bowls, as well as toys. This will help avoid confrontations, particularly between two dogs. Having their own space also means they can retreat to solitude whenever they feel like it.
Here are some tips on introducing a new baby to a dog:
New commands and boundaries
Train your dog to stay away from the baby’s room and install a baby gate to set a clear boundary for the dog. Also, teach your dog new commands like ‘back’, ‘wait’ and ‘settle’ to ensure that you can stop them from getting overly excited around the baby. During their first encounter, let your dog sniff the baby’s feet first to avoid your dog from being surprised by any crying or moving. Puppies and babies in particular need to be monitored while interacting.
Introduce baby smells and sounds
In the weeks prior to the baby’s birth, introducing your dog to things like baby toys, strollers, and diapers can help. Some people even use dolls to train their dogs. Recordings of baby noises and the newborn baby’s blanket will help your dog recognise and accept the baby’s sounds and scent.
Adjust your attention level
Rather than making a sudden change, start adjusting the level of attention you give your pooch before the baby arrives. If it is already lowered, the dog won’t relate the change with the new baby in the house. More importantly, make sure to give your dog attention while your baby is awake and soon your dog will learn to love having the baby around!
All in all, introducing your dog to another dog, cat or baby will create a change in routine. In such cases, it is best to prepare them in advance. With the right steps, you can look forward to seeing everybody getting along and creating amazing memories together.