A baby touching her pet puppy's nose

our tips for introducing dogs and babies

Cute overload? Yes.

Unfortunately, just because your pup is good with people doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be perfect with your newest bundle of joy. Here are some tips on what to do before and after you bring your new puppy home.

A cartoon puppy and a young child meet for the first time
Setting up your “meet cute” with a new family member

Of course, everyone wishes all the cuties in their life will get along, but best friendship takes time. While your puppy may be used to engaging with humans from the beginning, babies present a whole new set of challenges and expectations.

black lab meets sleeping baby

Never leave your baby unsupervised with any dog, because even the best-behaved puppy can respond unpredictably to new situations.

smiling puppy with blue collar

How to bring home the baby

  • When you first come home, have someone else hold the baby so you can greet your puppy.
  • Once everyone is settled, slowly introduce your (leashed) pup to your baby. Immediately intervene if there is any undesirable interaction between the two.
  • If you anticipate a situation in which your puppy will not do well, work on training and wait to introduce your child until your pup is ready.
  • Always provide adult supervision between babies/children and pups.
  • Ensure your puppy is getting enough exercise, enrichment, and engagement to avoid overenthusiastic play sessions with a wobbly wee one.
  • Remember that as babies mature, they may present new challenges for your pup that require additional management or training methods.
  • Any aggressive behavior directed toward a baby or child should result in immediate isolation of the pup from the baby. Contact your veterinary team for local referrals or resources.
smiling puppy with blue collar icon

Before you come home from the hospital

  • Implement any new schedule before the new baby arrives. This will help your puppy adapt to changes more easily once the new addition comes home.
  • Create a safe zone for your pup where the new baby is not allowed.
  • Acclimate your puppy to the sounds of a baby crying, pairing the noise with treats so they don’t form negative connotations with the noise.
  • Let your pup smell some of the baby’s objects before bringing the baby home.
  • Create a plan to maintain your puppy’s exercise and enrichment requirements.
  • Address any obedience issues that may be dangerous around a baby. See more about obedience training

How Banfield can help

Need more information on specific challenges when introducing your puppy to a baby? Your local Banfield veterinary team may have recommendations that can help.

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