Dogs are often considered part of the family nowadays, and this is not something that should change just because your family is expanding. When a baby is being brought home, parents (dog owners) simply need to learn how to prepare to introduce the baby to the dog and set brand new boundaries for the canine. There are steps that can be taken prior to the baby's arrival as well as after the baby comes home from the hospital. You want to do what you can to include the dog in the family's way of life by avoiding the following mistakes:

Mistake #1: Isolating the Dog from Everyone

While it can be a scary thought having your dog and baby together at first, you don't want to necessarily isolate your dog from the baby and everyone else by putting your dog in a completely different room with the door shut. This makes your dog think that he did something wrong when he did not. Instead, considering putting a gate up or putting your dog in a crate in the same room as the baby, which will allow your dog to still see the baby but in a safe, comfortable manner.

Mistake #2: Forcing Interaction

While you want the canine and the baby to interact with one another, because you do want them to get along, after all, you do not want to force them together. If you notice that the dog is trying to pull away from the baby, then it is a sign that the dog is uncomfortable with the situation. If you continue to force the interaction, it could lead to unnecessary aggression and a dog bite.

What you want to do is to invite your canine to give the baby a sniff, but let your dog do it on his own terms. Don't force him, but let him know that he can do it when he wants to. Also, don't allow the baby to force interaction by trapping the dog, cornering the dog or anything of the sort, especially when the dog is eating or sleeping.  

Mistake #3: Allowing Unsupervised Interaction

It isn't uncommon to think that the baby and dog will be okay in a room by themselves for 30 seconds while you go into the other room to answer the phone or go to the bathroom. Unfortunately, it only takes a few seconds for a dog to feel threatened and to feel like he needs to defend himself. For instance, the dog could be provoked by the baby climbing on him, grabbing his ears or pulling his tail. Therefore, it is imperative that you either take the dog or baby with you, put the baby in the crib or playpen, or put your dog in the crate.

For more advice on what not to do with your dog when you bring a baby home or to make sure your dog is up-to-date on his vaccinations before the baby arrives, contact a vet office like Columbine Animal Hospital & Emergency Clinic