Bringing home a new baby can be an exciting AND scary time! Every member of your family, including the furry ones, are going to face a lot of changes and at times, if can be hard for dogs to cope- even the most family-friendly ones! But don’t lose hope, there are several ways you can prepare your dog for the arrival of a newborn before and during the transition.
1 | Socialize them
Want to reduce the shock that might happen when you bring home a new baby? Try getting them used to little loud things before you introduce your newborn to puppy. Chances are, your dog is used to the way things are at home. If you get them used to a little more ruckus and introduce new boundaries before bringing home a new baby, the transition won’t be as difficult. One way to do this is to bring them to a dog park fairly often (especially good if this is done early when they’re still young) to get them used to the boundaries of other pets. If your dog plays too rough with the furry friends at the park, chances are they’ll let your puppy know. Another way to get your doggie socialized is to have friends bring over their kids and have a little playtime with your pup. Of course, you’ll have to be mindful if your dog already has a temperament that will make them good with children. You’ll also want to be careful not to overwhelm your puppy. Invite children over who will be happy but calm around your puppy and limit the playing time so that your doggie doesn’t get overwhelmed. Spending time with small children ahead of time can be a great way to ease the shock of bringing home a newborn!
2 | Teach them to get out of the way
If your doggie loves to lay around the house any old place and you find yourself stepping over him or her a lot, it might be a good idea to teach your pup how to dodge you. This way, when baby starts to crawl and eventually walk (and inevitably fall over) your dog will hopefully already be out of the way and not startled when baby falls. It might take a little tough love, but overall it will be best for everyone involved. When walking through the house, don’t avoid your dog if he’s in your way. Instead, give him a little nudge until he moves out of the way. This is a physical (non-verbal), gentle way to get them to move. Pretty soon they’ll begin to anticipate you and move before you can nudge them and- better yet- get out of the way for baby!
3 | Train your baby
From the time our son was little, we’ve always taught him to be extremely gentle with our dog. Our dog has a great temperament anyway, but who wants their faces slapped or ears tugged on by an overly excited toddler, anyway? We very intentionally showed our son where to pet and how to pet our dog in a way that wouldn’t hurt, overly excite him, or get him nervous. Now that our son is almost 3 he and the dog chase each other around the house daily! But they both have a great sense of boundaries and respect for each other.
4 | Familiarize them with baby’s scent
After baby is born, you’ll have a couple days in the hospital before returning home. Have an outfit that the baby has worn (or hat, blanket, etc.) and give it to your house sitter to introduce to your puppy. A good idea is to also leave the item by their kennel or bed just to get them extra used to baby’s smell. Better yet, give your pup a treat when they sniff the outfit or blanket in order to help them associate baby’s smell with something positive!
5 | Use a balanced behavior supplement
It’s ok if you’re nervous about introducing a new baby to your dog for the first time. Although dogs are a huge part of any family, you wouldn’t want to risk anything happening to your irreplaceable child. It might only take your pup a couple of days or weeks to realize that this new human is not a threat and until then, there are ways to help keep them calm in the meantime. If you have someone house/dog sitting for you while in the hospital, have them start giving your pet Zylkene a couple days before you come home with baby.
Zylkene uses a molecule derived from casein which is found in milk, and is clinically proved to relax and calm your cat or dog without causing sedation or drowsiness. Zylkene can be a HUGE asset when helping pet cope with new or unusual situations like bringing home a newborn! We Have a 60 lb. German Shorthaired Pointer who is extremely family friendly, but he is also extremely excitable! We also live just down the road from a baseball stadium that likes to put off fireworks every weekend (not a great combination). Zylkene has been great with helping our pup cope with the loud noises and excitability of bringing home our newest addition. Give it a try and ask for Zylkene by name from your vet! #ZylkeneDifference
Zylkene is available at your veterinary clinic or online. Visit the Zylkene website for details or ask your veterinary clinic for it by name. For more information about Zylkene, visit their website here, LIKE them on Facebook and follow them on Instagram.
What challenging situation do your pets have to cope with?
Zylkene is ideal for pets to help cope with various challenging situations, such as loud noises (fireworks, thunderstorms), traveling with pets, etc. Ask for Zylkene by name at your veterinary clinic, or purchase it online.
Click here to learn more about Zylkene non-drowsy calming supplements for your dog or cat.
This is a product-provided, sponsored conversation that contains affiliate links. I received Zylkene products for my own personal review. All opinions, text and experiences are my own.
If your pet’s behavior changes suddenly in any way, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. He or she can rule out any underlying medical issues as well as make additional recommendations. Consult your veterinarian before giving your pet Zylkene. Follow the recommended administration on the package, unless otherwise instructed by your veterinarian.