We all know just how much we love our furry babies. We bring them into our home, we spoil them, and we allow them to roam freely around the house, closing one eye (or two) when they sneak into our bed at night. I am guilty of this and, probably, most of you are too.

My dog is big, goofy and, he doesn’t know his own strength: He chews, scratches and bites (playfully) disregarding the size of the playmate as most dogs do. This has never been a problem until something extraordinary happened to our life: a baby was on the way! At first, I didn’t think about it, and I brushed it off my mind, “It’ll be fine.” I kept on telling myself, but the more time passed the worst I felt about it, and many questions started popping up into my head:

“Is Leo (my dog) going to be ok?” “Is he going to accept the changes?” “Is he going to be jealous?” “and if he is, is he going to be aggressive towards Baby?”

I felt guilty towards Leo, for many years he has been the prince of the house: spoiled, cuddled and free to do whatever he wanted to. Yes, I know it’s wrong, but when it comes to saying no to that little face, my heart just won’t let me. He is my furry baby, after all! I know that many of you would agree with me 😉.

When the need for nesting became apparent, I decided to take the matter into my own hand and started to do some research on the issue. Turns out I wasn’t the only one who was experiencing this problem. It made me feel less lonely but, at the same time, made me want to dig deeper.

After a lot of studies, I finally came up with a list of 5 tricks designed to facilitate a smooth transition and to create a comfortable environment for Baby and your dog to live while adjusting to each other.

Rule number 1


You heard me, people. Train your dog before the arrival of Baby. You will simply have no time after! It doesn’t matter if you own a Poodle, a Golden Retriever or a Doberman, even a Chihuahua can get possessive and aggressive if not appropriately trained.

As I said, I left it to slip through my hand, and the situation snowballed into a catastrophe. I ended up having only a bunch of weeks to prepare myself and the dog to the arrival of Baby. I had to call in a dog trainer and teach me how to be more strict with him creating boundaries and rules for Leo and us to follow. So if you will only take one advice from this blog post take this one: train your dog early! You will not regret it.

Rule number 2


For years the house was their safe space. They were free to do whatever they wanted and get away with it, and now, all of a sudden, all these rules are in place. It can be quite jarring for our furry friends, and they could feel confused. It breaks our heart when they look at us with those sad eyes because they want to cuddle on the sofa. Ouch! That is why it’s so necessary to create a place for them where they can feel comfortable and loved. Place their bed, favourite blankets and toys in one designated area of the house and when they are there give them all the attention and cuddles. They will learn to associate that space with the cuddles, and they will be more willing to spend their time in that particular place.


Rule number 3


Wait, what? Yes, you read correctly. Bringing a new baby into the home will likely change your schedule and your ability to pay attention to your dog. Try varying your routine to help your dog become accustomed to a less-predictable schedule.

Focus on providing more prolonged periods of uninterrupted attention, such as walks or trips to the dog park, instead of small bursts of attention throughout the day.

Avoid the temptation to give your dog extra attention in the days before the baby arrives. This may reinforce the concept that you can spend more time with your dog than you can reasonably give once the baby arrives.

Trying to feed your doggy at different times could help as well.


Rule number 4


From now on, everything will be new, for you, your partner and your dog. Your dog will be exposed to a whole new world of sensory stimulations and ways to play. Baby smells, baby sounds and baby play such grabbing and pulling. Prepare your dog, introducing a doll to him. Let him sniff it and reward him when he’s being calm around it. Make him sit while you pretend to change the diaper, and when the doll is crying, make him listen and get accustomed to the new sounds.

My dog gets triggered by cats and bay’s cry can be similar to the meowing, it took me a long time to make him stay calm while the doll was “crying.” Trust me on this one, buy the doll.

Play differently with him, pull his tail and his ears some times, and reward him when he doesn’t react to it. I know, it can sound cruel, but babies don’t know that they’re being annoying, and we need to avoid accidents at all costs.


Rule number 5


We’re finally here! We have been through a lot, and we have been preparing for the worst. We have been training with fake babies, we have changed our routine, and we have introduced new smells, toys, and games to our dog. We have groomed him, made all the vet appointments trimmed his nails and took all the precautions.

The day has come to bring Baby home and start our new life together! Exciting! The only thing left to do is for them to meet. Personally, what I have done on that day was to have a friend home with him so he could be distracted while we brought Baby inside.

My dog doesn’t like it when strangers come to the house, and he gets nervous easily, so having someone there with him helped ease his anxiety. We started slowly, we didn’t let the dog get close to Baby, we only allowed him to stay in the room with us while I was feeding him or whenever I was changing him. I tried to encourage good behaviour while the baby was awake. I wanted to feed them at the same time to make my dog associate food with Baby and reward.

I’m not gonna lie, it wasn’t easy. For some, it’s easier than others, I guess. For me, it was a long process before I could relax and trust Romeo (my son) and Leo together.

There’s still a long way to go before those two will become best friends. Romeo is still very young, and Leo’s patience is not infinite! But I can easily say that without those rules in place I would have been lost. They made our life as parents a lot easier.

I hope this article will help some of you too!

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