Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Fur baby meet new baby

For many Moms, their first baby has fur, four legs, and a feeling that they own the house.

So when bringing home the new baby and introducing him/her to the dog, it’s important to put thought into how you’ll go about it. From a dog’s point of view, the new baby is taking over their personal space!

Recently my dog Fendi, a 5-year-old male Pomeranian, met my best friends baby Abigail for the first time. He was so good to her and so afraid about what was really going on. He was such a good dog and kissed Abigail on the cheek with caution.

Here are the steps I took to prevent a catastrophe (remember, it’s never too early to prepare):

Step one: pay attention to any sensitivity your dog shows when being approached by people, especially children and toddlers. Note how your dog acts when he is handled in uncomfortable ways, including tail tugs and grabbing his feet, mouth and ears. If you notice any areas of concern, address these with remedial training and enlist your veterinarian, a certified professional dog trainer or animal behaviorist if needed.

Step two: acclimate the dog to the new baby. Fendi was given short prompt demands, like "sit" and "no touch" so that he understood that Abigail is precious and sensitive. Fendi just sniffed, sat and stared at Abigail, and kept looking at me for any demand. So I gave him  a treat for good behavior.

Step three: bring the baby blanket home early. My best friend brought the blanket early to my house, like the day before, so that Fendi could get used to the scent of Abigail. That night he laid on the blanket, like he knew what was going on. Such a precious dog!

I am so thankful to have such a sweet dog. I was so afraid of Fendi being mean to Abigail, but it all worked out.

I hope these tips are helpful. What steps did you take when preparing to bring baby home to your dog?

Jennifer Mazandarani, MSN RNC, is a labor & delivery and admission nursing supervisor at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano.

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