Tips on introducing your newborn to an established pet.

Barley’s stomach is making sounds like a fighting squirrel as he lays down next to my desk and I’m brought back to the day I brought our first “child” home. Barley, our German Shepherd, is our first child. We had gotten him from a friend as a 6 week old puppy 8 years ago. Neither my husband or I had ever been allowed to have pets when we grew up and we raised Barley like he was our first child.

He’s a part of our family and when we had Sara, we took him to his dog trainers at Camp Paradise in Conyers, GA to ask for advice on introducing the new baby to her ‘older brother’. They recommended a few tips when introducing a newborn to your established pets:

  • Bring your pet a blanket with your newborn’s scent before the first meeting so they get familiar with your newborn’s smell
  • Arrange the meeting in neutral territory – a friend’s or family’s house that your dog doesn’t frequent often enough for him to consider it his area
  • Leash your pet during the introduction and have someone else hold your pet’s leash during the meeting
  • Let your pet smell your newborn and get accustomed to its scent
  • Once the pet is calm, ride home together and walk into your house before your pet with the baby to establish dominance

We followed all of the trainers’ recommendations and the meeting went perfectly. Barley took note of her as if to make sure she was fine, and calmly sat down at our feet like he was wondering what all the hoopla was. After all, he was already expecting his little sister.

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