At times, especially after having a new baby, you might wonder “What does my dog think about my new baby?”. This post will cover two sides of their attitudes towards the little angel in their family and give you some tips on preparing your dog before the arrival of your new baby.
What Does My Dog Think About My New Baby?: 2 Sides of Attitudes
Dogs Love And Will Protect Babies As They Are Members of Their Packs
To begin with, whenever you key in the term “dogs and babies” into the search bar of Google and hit Enter, your eyes will instantly get flooded with thousands of cutest pictures of dogs cuddling and playing with babies.
The adorable images are evidence that dogs think positively about babies and are willing to be gentle with your children. Also, it has been proven that dogs want to protect babies like they are the youngest and most defenseless members of their packs, as they are pack animals familiar with hierarchy. Furthermore, when interacting with babies, the dopamine levels in dogs also increase, making them happy.
However, the above behavior may raise a question: How do dogs know that a baby is not an adult? Fortunately, dogs are known to have a magnificent observational ability, so, despite having no sign that reads “newborn baby – be gentle”, there are some typical signs for them to realize that babies are not just short people, but little humans:
- Dogs have enough common sense to realize that babies are small in size, just like newborn puppies.
- When it comes to appearances, newborn mammals (yes, humans are ones) share similar features, namely large eyes that spread further apart or oversized heads. Dogs are born to realize those features, just like we do with puppies.
- As we all know, dogs are extremely sensitive to scents since they have over 200 million olfactory cells. According to recent research, dogs can detect cancers by sniffing people. Therefore, it is not difficult for them to tell that an infant has a different smell than an adult.
Like Humans, Dogs Get Jealous, Too
On the other hand, dogs can also get nervous around babies for several reasons:
- They have never smelled, heard, or seen a baby before (This is quite popular among dogs that have never had a true family.).
- They may feel scared when your baby is crying if they are not used to loud noises.
- The baby might be close to objects that the dogs feel valuable.
Worse, dogs can even get jealous of babies. If you see the following signs, it is recommended that you draw a borderline between your infant and the pet:
- The dog shows clear signs of aggression – barking, hissing, or showing their teeth to your baby. In some cases, they may even nibble you while you are holding the baby to get your attention.
- When you are holding your baby, the dog may force himself on your lap – a way to demand attention and say that they are jealous of the infant.
- Your dog will eventually cause mischief to get your attention – they may jump on furniture, chew things around them, or tear wallpapers around your house.
Read Do Dogs Get Jealous? for extra information.
Prepare Your Dog For The Baby’s Arrival
You cannot know whether your pet will live happily together with your new baby or not. Therefore, it is necessary to take the following precautions to avoid potential conflicts between the two:
- Help your dog familiarize themselves with a baby’s scent by bringing home baby items such as blankets. Moreover, you can allow your dog to look at and sniff the baby’s items and toys so that they will not be curious later.
- Before the arrival of the baby, you should train and encourage your four-legged friend to entertain themselves and get used to the lack of attention.
- Finally, the most important thing is to NEVER leave your dog and your baby unsupervised. Although there is just a very small probability that a dog will attack a baby, you will not want to take any risk.
Hopefully, the above article has answered the questions of most dog lovers “What does my dog think about my new baby?”, and assist you in taking the best possible care of your canine friend.
If you’re looking for a dog breed that is suitable for your family with babies, check out these best small dogs for kids.