How Dog Owners Can Prepare for a Newborn Baby

pregnant woman smiling while playing with pet dog outdoors
  • Start early by introducing your dog to babies and observing their reactions. 
  • Maintain a routine with consistent feeding, play, and exercise times.
  • Consider training them to understand new boundaries and appropriate behavior with the baby. 
  • Introduce them gradually to the baby’s scent before the arrival. 
  • Always supervise your dog, be mindful of any changes in behavior, and address them immediately. 

Welcoming a newborn baby is an exciting and joyous time. However, it can also be a challenging adjustment for parents and furry friends. If you are a dog owner preparing to welcome a new member into your family, it’s essential to make sure your pooch is ready for the changes that lie ahead. Here’s how to ensure they’re well-prepared and comfortable with the upcoming transition and new human.

Prepare in Advance

One of the best ways to prepare your pooch for a newborn is to start early. Begin by introducing your furry friend to babies in your family or friend circle, and observe their reactions. 

It will help you identify whether your dog has any aggressive tendencies towards infants or not. By giving your dog plenty of time to acclimate to the presence of a baby, you can minimize the likelihood of anxiety or harsh behavior when the baby arrives.

If possible, try to operate a play-date system between your dog and the baby before their arrival. This will help them understand each other’s presence and build a sense of trust.

dog beside baby in a stroller with toddler walking alongside them

Maintain a Routine

Dogs thrive on consistency and routine, so keeping their days as stable as possible is vital. When the baby arrives, every member of the family runs on a schedule revolving around the youngest member’s needs. Therefore, it’s crucial to start establishing a routine beforehand, so your pet can adapt to the changes in your schedule. Here are some things to prioritize:

Feeding Times

When introducing a new baby into the house, one of the most critical routines to maintain is your pet’s feeding schedule. Feeding times should remain consistent, as changes in these can cause your dog to feel anxious and stressed. It’s also important to place the food bowl away from any areas where the baby is likely to spend time.

Play Times

Keeping up with regular playtimes is vital to calming any anxiousness your pet might experience. This will help reinforce the bond between you and your pup and keep them in a good mood for when the baby arrives. Make sure to set aside some quality time every day for active play with your canine companion.

Outdoor Walks

Maintaining a regular exercise routine is critical to keeping your pup healthy, happy, and content. Taking them out for regular walks helps fulfill their mental and physical needs while providing them with some much-needed fresh air and quality time to bond.

Consider Training

Training your dog is essential for many reasons, including preparing them for a newborn baby. An effective dog training program will teach the commands such as “sit,” “stay,” “down,” and “leave it,” which can come in handy once the baby arrives.

Dogs need to understand that there are new boundaries when a baby comes home, such as a no-go area around the bassinet, and that they must not jump up or lick the baby’s face to avoid placing any harm on the baby.

Furthermore, if your dog has a tendency to bark or jump around when people come over, you can also use training to help them learn the appropriate behaviors. Just make sure to choose a patient, reward-based training program that uses positive reinforcement techniques.

dogs sitting and looking attentively at female dog trainer outdoors


Once the baby arrives, introduce your furry friend to the newest member of the family gradually. Start small, and let your dog sniff or lick a blanket or piece of clothing that has the baby’s scent on it. 

This will help your dog get used to the baby’s smell, and remember to praise your dog and offer them treats when they behave around the baby. You should also always supervise your dog when they are near the baby, especially in the first few weeks.

Lastly, being mindful and observing your dog’s behavior will be essential for the safety of the baby. If you notice any aggressive, anxious, or unusual behavior change in your dog, it’s crucial that you address it immediately.

Preparing your furry friend for a newborn baby requires patience, effort, and planning in advance. While it can be challenging, it is essential for your pet’s safety and well-being, as well as your baby’s. With preparation and teamwork, you can ensure a smooth transition for everyone. Remember that making changes to your pet’s life before the baby’s arrival must be done as gradually as possible. At the end of the day, with your love and proper preparation, your furry friend will be happiest having you and your new bundle of joy around.

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