May 31, 2016

5 Tips for Introducing Your Family Dog and New Baby

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PawsToSavor #CollectiveBias

5 Tips for Introducing You Family Dog & New Baby

As baby's due date neared, besides the obvious of meeting our daughter, I was extremely excited to have her meet the family dogs. How would they act around her? Would they even care?

Fast forward 2 months... We now call Titus the "Night's Watch" because he always has to be by her side, and little miss Morley can't take her eyes off of him, watching and giggling at his every move. Those are the moments that I want to savor this summer, and forever.

5 Tips for Introducing You Family Dog & New Baby

When bringing home a new baby to a house with a dog, it is extremely important that the "first meeting" is done right. Remember, your dog or cat was your first and is used to being the centre of your attention. Introducing someone else into the mix may set off their routine, and many dogs experience anxiety when their lifestyles are drastically altered. The sooner you begin to prepare your dog, the better chance you will have a successful and easy transition once baby arrives. 

5 Tips for Introducing Your Family Dog & New Baby

01.  Prepare your dog. Teaching your dog some basic obedience skills, such as ‘sit’, ‘stay’, ‘leave/drop it’, etc., will help you manage behaviour when the baby comes. Desensitize your dog to some of the new sights, sounds and smells - unwrap new baby supplies, such as toys, and let him/her investigate them, play recordings of babies crying or babbling and even establish boundaries are baby’s toys and nursery. Once baby is born, take home an item from the hospital, such as a blanket, so that baby can get used to the new one’s smell.

5 Tips for Introducing You Family Dog & New Baby

02.  Control the introduction. It’s crucial to stay calm and relaxed when you and baby enter the house. If you seem anxious, your dog will pick up on your cues and may become anxious as well. Reward and praise your dog for responding to your cues and remaining calm around baby. Remember not to scold your dog - you want them to associate the baby with good things. 

03.  Teach your baby. While it is important to supervise all interactions, once your child is in the exploratory state, take the opportunity to teach your child not to bother the dog, yank their tail, etc. Similar to rewarding your dog for good behaviour, praise baby for being gentle when interacting with the dog. 

5 Tips for Introducing You Family Dog & New Baby

04.  Make baby’s safety a priority. Never leave an infant or toddler alone with a dog, especially when the baby is on the floor. While kisses from the dog may be cute, avoid face to face contact. After taking the appropriate steps, if your dog displays any questionable behaviour, seek professional help. 

05.  Don’t forget about the first member of your “pack”! Make sure that they still receive the attention and care that they deserve. This also means making sure they receive the very best when it comes to their food.  

Mealtime is a moment worth savoring, and this summer, Purina® Pro Plan® Savor® Shredded Blend dog food will help you do just that! Made with real poultry, meat or fish as the #1 ingredient in all dry formulas, Purina® Pro Plan® Savor® Shredded Blend is high-quality nutrition with a taste dogs absolutely love. That is a dog food I can stand behind. 

5 Tips for Introducing You Family Dog & New Baby

Purina® Pro Plan® Savor® Shredded Blend for dogs can be found in the Purina® Pro Plan® dog food section at your local PetSmart, and is available in a variety of dry and wet foods, plus snacks and meal enhancements, to satisfy taste preferences.

5 Tips for Introducing You Family Dog & New Baby

Now at PetSmart, spend $15 on any Purina® Pro Plan® product from 5/31–7/5 and SAVE $15 on your next purchase of 10.5 lbs. or larger Purina® Pro Plan® Dry Cat or Dog Food or Litter (by 7/31).

How do you savor every moment with your dog or cat?

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