Preparing a Dog for a New Baby

With more than 25 years of veterinary experience, Dr. Joel Todd Leroy Prince is a highly qualified diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners. The owner of two dogs, a Boston terrier named Bella and a Doberman named Del, Dr. Joel Todd Leroy Prince provides high-quality care to pets on a daily basis.

Preparing for a new baby is sometimes overwhelming for new parents, and it is easy to forget that the change also affects the family dog. The unusual smells and sudden access restrictions to certain areas cause dogs a lot of confusion. However, it is possible to prepare a dog for a new baby by teaching the dog obedience skills, ways to adjust to new things, and ways to deal with routine changes.

Many of the changes a dog must deal with may seem small to the parents, such as changes to the daily walking routine, but these changes matter to the dog and can cause the dog to suffer stress or associate negative feelings with the infant. To avoid this type of problem, it is helpful to adjust the dog to changes before the baby arrives.

Teaching a dog new boundaries and skills is also important when preparing for a baby. Training for basic obedience commands, such as sit, stay, and drop it, make it easier to handle the dog when it wants to play near the baby. Proper training allows the dog to still be part of the family in a calm, safe way.