How To Prepare Dogs For New Baby So The Two Can Co-Exist

Ad failed to load

Sure, your dog will always be your baby. But when you have a human baby on the way, chances are you'll need to make some adjustments to your dog's daily routine. Knowing how to prepare dogs for a new baby can help your family make its addition smoothly.

Now is the time to make changes to your dog's behaviors, environment, and daily routines. For instance, a pup who is accustomed to being the center of your universe would be very distraught if a baby suddenly took away almost all of his attention. It's kinder on the dog (and you) to help him adjust to the many changes a baby brings more slowly.

Additionally, this is a great opportunity to address any potential behavior issues. Of course, dogs who may get aggressive with a baby need training lessons right away. But even a well-mannered dog may need a little extra training if he, say, barks his head off every time the doorbell rings. Although this behavior is only annoying now, you don't want to live with a dog who will wake the baby every time a visitor approaches your home. Fortunately, with a little forethought and guidance, your dog can be ready for your baby in no time.

Ad failed to load

1Get Schooled


If you dog has never taken obedience classes, now might be an excellent time to sign up. As explained in Parents, a good obedience instructor can help correct behaviors that may be troublesome once a baby is in the house. Even if your dog is teeny-tiny, some obedience classes may help him become more manageable when your time and attention are in short supply.

2Create A Safe Space


The first few weeks with a new baby will be hectic for everyone in the family, and this includes your dog. Making sure he has a safe space to retreat to, such as a laundry room or dog crate, can help your puppy adjust to the crying, fussing tiny person, as noted in Baby Center. It's a nice way to help your pup destress and gradually become accustomed to the sounds, sights, and smells of the infant.

3Consider Specific 'Baby Readiness' Classes


Even if your dog is a well-trained beastie, it never hurts to learn more. According to Baby Center, some veterinarians and trainers have 'baby readiness' classes to get you and your pup prepared for junior's arrival. Typically these classes involve an assessment of your dog's temperament, as well as basic information on creating an environment that helps promote a happy home. (Keeping kids out of your dog's food bowl, for instance, is a good call.)

Ad failed to load

4Invite Babies Over


If your dog has never been around babies before, now might be a good time to help him get used to the idea. According to the Humane Society, inviting friends with babies into your home can help your dog get used to all the smells and noises that go along with infants. Just be sure to supervise all of your visits.

5Try The Smell Test


Long before your little one arrives, you can start helping your puppy get acclimated to the variety of scents that go along with baby care. Letting your dog sniff the many baby care lotions and cleansers that you will use can be helpful, as noted in WebMD. This means Fido will have one less new thing to process once that baby makes her debut.

6Increase Alone Time


If your dog has been your 'baby' for a long time, chances are he's accustomed to being the center of attention. You can help him get used to being on his own more by decreasing the amount of time you spend together in the weeks leading up to the birth, as explained by Dogs Trust. Although this may seem sad, it's actually kinder to help him make the adjustment ahead of time.

Ad failed to load

7Consider No-Dogs-On-Furniture Rule


Chances are, your dog cuddles with you on the bed or couch on occasion, even if he isn't officially allowed on the furniture. But it may be time to ban him from the sofa now. According to the American Humane Society, dogs may see babies on the furniture as competitors and get territorial, and even a very gentle dog could accidentally hurt a baby by leaping on the bed or couch. With that in mind, you may want to train your dog to keep all four paws on the floor.

8Adjust Walking Needs


Taking your dog for his accustomed long walks may be difficult once the baby arrives. Therefore it's a good idea to help your dog get accustomed to a mix of shorter and longer walks in the time leading up to your baby's arrival, as noted in Today's Parent. In addition, you could sign up for a dog walking service to keep your pup thoroughly exercised for the last days of your pregnancy and the first weeks with your baby.

9Read Up


If you want even more in-depth advice about helping you dog and newborn become friends, then there are plenty of books you can check out. Lisa Edwards' Please Don't Bite the Baby (and Please Don't Chase the Dogs), as well as Michael Wombacher's Good Dog, Happy Baby, are both excellent starting points. You and your dog can be baby-ready in no time.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

Being A Dog Parent Prepared Me For Having A Baby, Really

I’ve always wanted kids; I was never as sure about raising a puppy. Then I spent six months living with someone who brought home an eight-week-old golden retriever puppy, and I see no way to make it out of that experience claiming not to love dogs. I…
By Heather Caplan

20 Of The Most Popular Unisex Names Of All Time, That You'll Be Hearing More Of For Sure

You might think of unisex names as a fairly recent trend, but the truth is these versatile monikers have been commonly used throughout history (well, some more commonly than others). That's why the team over at recently compiled a list of t…
By Jacqueline Burt Cote

How To Have A Date Night With No Babysitter, Because It's Easier Than You Think

After having children, many couples feel that their love lives immediately go out the window, but it's so important to make your romantic life a priority so both you and your partner can be the best versions of yourselves you can be. As we all know, …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

9 Ways Baby No. 3 Made My Family Feel Complete

My husband and I decided to have another baby right after we got married and, well, we had no idea what we were getting into. I got pregnant right away, endured a high-risk pregnancy, and, before I knew it, my third baby had arrived. Together, we emb…
By Steph Montgomery

8 Stereotypes About New Dads That Are *Totally* True

Much like new mothers, new fathers have a lot on their plate. Parenting can be scary and complex, especially at first and regardless of your gender. People want to do right by their kids, after all. And since all new parents are a hot mess, dads are …
By Priscilla Blossom

8 Differences Between Being Pregnant In Your 20s Vs 30s, According To Science

Whether you're planning a pregnancy, or just thinking about your future family, it's typical to think about things like child-spacing, how many kids you want, and when to start trying to conceive. When making your pro/con list, you might also conside…
By Steph Montgomery

16 Moms Share Remedies For Their Most Intense Chocolate Cravings During Pregnancy

For better or worse, pregnancy is usually synonymous with odd cravings. Sure, there are the stereotypical combos like pickles and ice cream that plague gestating women the world over, but there are other mind-boggling combinations, too, including but…
By Candace Ganger

Putting Sunscreen On Your Kid Doesn't Have To Be A Fight — Here's How To Do It

I am almost translucent, so me and sunscreen are basically besties at this point. Even though my children are beautifully deep brown thanks to my husband's genetics, I still slather them like biscuits being buttered because I refuse to take risks wit…
By Cat Bowen

7 Things A Mom Really Means When She Says She Doesn't Want Anything On Mother's Day

Every year my family asks me what I want for Mother's Day, and every single year I tell them the same thing: Nothing. So, by now, they know that when I say "nothing" I absolutely do not mean "nothing." In fact, there are more than a few things a mom …
By Candace Ganger

19 Moms Share The Way They Cured Their Pregnancy Comfort Food Cravings

I was obnoxiously sick during the first trimester with, "lucky" for me, both of my pregnancies. For the first three months I lived on saltines, lemonade, and fresh bread. Once I was able to eat, however, all I wanted was savory and sweet comfort food…
By Dina Leygerman

8 Fascinating Facts About Babies Born In May, The Luckiest Month Of All

The height of all things fresh and springy, May is an excellent month to have a baby. It's a time of growth, graduations, and outdoor celebrations. And these fascinating facts about May babies will give you more reasons than ever to appreciate childr…
By Lindsay E. Mack

I Used To Judge Formula-Feeding Moms — Until I Became One

The other patrons in the hip Brooklyn restaurant probably couldn’t care less what I was feeding my baby, but I’ll always remember the shame I felt as I quickly mixed up his bottle of formula in front of them. I admitted to my childless friend that I …
By Katherine Martinelli

7 White Lies It’s Necessary To Tell To Keep Your Relationship Healthy

Telling lots of lies typically isn't associated with a healthy, strong, lasting relationship, and that's still certainly true, but not all lies are exactly the same. Though you've probably heard from someone at least once or twice that the lie they t…
By Lauren Schumacker

The Skinny Jeans That Saved Me Postpartum

Accepting my post-pregnancy body is hands-down one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. It’s something that I still work on every single day. During my first pregnancy, I was 20 years old, so I managed to bounce back quickly. In fact, I dropp…
By Allison Cooper

7 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say They Feel Safe

In those first weeks of new motherhood, it can feel like you need an interpreter for your newborn. With their limited means of communication, figuring out what message your baby is trying to get across to you can be a challenge. With time, however, y…
By Kimmie Fink

Here's Why Dogs Are Obsessed With Babies' Poop, According To Science

Most family dogs seem to understand babies, and they're more than happy to make friends with the newest member of the pack. It's adorable... for the most part and until you go to change your little one's diaper. Suddenly, you're wondering why dogs ar…
By Lindsay E. Mack

6 Signs You're Meant To Have A Big Age Gap Between Kids

There's a five year age difference between my two children, to the day. Their age gap wasn't planned but, for a variety of reasons, works well for our family. And since I was so focused on having a second baby, I totally overlooked the signs that wou…
By Candace Ganger

13 Unique (& Totally Not Mainstream) Mother's Day Gifts For The Hipster Mom

Hipsters thrive on being outside the norm and not really digging anything considered "mainstream." Whether it's in their fashion, what music they listen to, the books they read, or how they enjoy beverages, there's just something that makes them dist…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

Here's How To Introduce Your Pet To Your Baby & Make Everything As Calm As Possible

Our home, which we lovingly refer to as “the funny farm,” is filled with four-legged family members. We have two crazy beagles and two cat jerks, and boy are they loved and spoiled. (As they should be.) But we are now finally having a baby of our own…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

Here's The Right Birth Method For You, According To Your Zodiac Sign

If you're pregnant, you've probably given childbirth some serious thought. Some moms-to-be prepare a meticulous birth plan, while others are comfortable just going with the flow. And me? Well, I made a plan... but that plan was useless when faced wit…
By Steph Montgomery

My Dog Knew I Was Pregnant Before My Family Did

Growing up, I was 100 percent sure I'd be a mom one day. To a dog, that is. My baby plans came later. And once my husband and I were sure we wanted both a dog and a baby, we'd add to our joint dog-and-baby name list over Sunday brunch or on date nigh…
By Melissa Mills