4 tips on how to introduce a dog to your baby

By Goodwin Como, P.C.

For many couples, dogs are an important part of their social life. Many friends, family and neighbors own pets. You might own one yourself. When a baby comes along, a lot of things change. You and your partner will be adjusting to parenthood, and you may need to adjust your interactions as well. It’s important to be careful with your baby when you are around dogs. To create a safe environment for your family, a well-thought introduction is key.

There are a few tips couples can consider when preparing for an event, which includes:

  1. Offer up the babys scent beforehand. Dogs are very scent-oriented.Before you bring your baby over to someone’s house, first introduce the dog to the baby’s scent. Bring an item such as the baby’s burp cloth or a piece of their clothing. Let the dog sniff the item while you are holding it. However, be sure to set boundaries by only letting the dog sniff with permission.
  2. See how the dog reacts to noises. Many dogs are sound-sensitive.If a dog is not used to a lot of noise, you will want to observe how they react to sounds. You can play a recording of crying baby sounds and use any toys that come with noises or music. If the dog appears startled, upset or anxious, this could be a warning sign.
  3. Give the energy you want to receive. Dogs are extremely in tune with us. Often, they mirror our emotions. When introducing baby and dog, stay calm and use a soothing tone. Try not to get the dog too worked up or excited. Being relaxed will benefit all parties.
  4. Follow your gut feeling. Parents rely a lot on intuition.Overall, your child’s safety comes first. No matter how comfortable you feel, always supervise a dog and baby when they are together. Even the most well-trained, tolerant dogs have moments. Be honest with yourself. If you are not completely sure that your baby is safe around a dog, avoid taking any chances.

Regardless of how careful parents are, animal attacks still happen. This often occurs with no warning at all, particularly in unfamiliar environments. Dog bites and attacks can leave a victim with permanent scars, psychological damage or worse. Be sure to explore your legal options if your family is suffering any of these damages.