Tips to Prepare your Dog for the Arrival of a Baby!

Introduce dog to newborn

TheDaddy.Guide is fortunate enough to have Master Dog Trainer and Dog Daycare owner of Pups Pet Club (, Dan Rubenstein to share Tips to Prepare your Dog for the Arrival of a Baby!

With a 20 year pedigree in the Dog Training and Dog Daycare business, Dan is also the father of 2 lovely six year old twin girls!

Who better to enlighten us on this topic as Dan himself welcomed his twin daughters home from the hospital to a Pit Bull Terrier already in the house!


Hi, Dan.  Thanks for taking the time to share some of your professional tips for acclimating your pet to the addition of a newborn.  Share with us, what are the first steps in preparing for bringing a newborn into a home with a dog?  What are your Tips to Prepare your Dog for the Arrival of a Baby?

Dan from Pups Pet Club

Great to chat with you, and love this forum of theDaddy.Guide to hear a dad’s perpective on things.

First and foremost, be as certain as possible that your dog has no resource guarding issues before you bring your baby home.  Do they aggressively block food, toys, highly coveted items?  Try getting a life-sized baby doll to place on floor. Observe how your dog reacts to this unfamiliar object.  If you’re not sure about what guarding behavior is or looks like, enlist a dog trainer to have a session in the home.

Second, take your dog to the dog park and witness how they interact with the other dogs… a GREAT indication is how they play with other dogs – especially puppies!  How gentle or rough do they play?  If they are super gentle and passive, these are all good indicators.


OK, noted.  What other things aside from testing behaviors can we do to acclimate the dog or prep the dog for a new addition to the family?

Dan from Pups Pet Club

Another Great question, here are some checklist items I recommend putting in place weeks before the baby comes:

  • Play recordings of baby sounds
  • Start to lessen the time and attention for your dog.  I know it sounds terrible, but the reality is that the time spent with your dog will decrease once the baby arrives.  Enlist the help of a dog daycare or dog walker to begin the adjustment of your dog doing other things and/or spending time elsewhere.  Plus, they’ll love it!  If you’re in the Chicago area, check out Pups Pet Club or a similar daycare center.
  • Establish proper pack dynamics prior to your baby coming home.  Your dog must understand clearly who the pack leaders are.  This might not be an overnight fix, so again, it’s always a good idea to have a professional stop by for an evaluation session to make sure you have the right practices in place in you’re unsure.
  • Once the baby is born take something familiar to the dog from the house to the hospital.  For example, put a onesy or a swaddle in the crate or bed where your dog sleeps.  Then take it to the hospital and have your baby wear it so his/her scent is on it.  Take it back home and place back in your dog’s crate or sleeping area.  Dogs are nose first animals, familiarizing them to the smell of your baby before her or she comes home is a good idea.
  • Bring home items from hospital that your baby has used and place them all around the house.  Play a boundary game with your dog to make sure he/she knows those items are off limits.
  • Introduce your baby’s new toys your dog to learn what can and cannot be touched.  This goes also for floor gyms and mats too.


Great stuff.  What about the actual first encounter and what to do once the baby is in the house… can you share some best practices?

Dan from Pups Pet Club

Of course.  When everyone gets home, immediately let your dog smell your baby.  Monitor the reaction.  Don’t be overly cautious as your dog will sense your hesitation or insecurity.  You want to be a calm and assertive pack leader.  Allow your dog to smell your new baby.  Play with your baby on the floor – making sure your dog does not step on or jump over your baby.

Also, once your baby is in the house, try your best to keep your habits and routine the same as much as possible.  Dogs, like people, don’t love change.  Once the baby comes, keep walks and feeding times the same and it will reduce potential anxiety.

All this stuff should help make the adjudtment fairly easy.  Don’t wear your concerns on your sleeve, but do keep an eye on your dogs behavior.  Remember, consult a professional animal behaviorist if you are even a bit unsure of your dog’s potential reaction to your baby.


Fantastic. Thank you for dropping by and dropping all this knowledge on us today.  Before we let you go, as a baby and toddler product review website, we ask all of our guest, interviewees, and bloggers to share their favorite baby or toddler product.  If we haven’t reviewed it already, we certainly will!

Dan from Pups Pet Club

Ooh, making me think on this one.  Since my girls are 6 now, I have to put my thinking cap on.  Clearly because we had twins we pretty much immediately needed a double stroller.  I shelled out the cash for a Bugaboo Donkey with 2 bassinets.  At the time I had 3 dog daycare and retail stores in Manhattan and we did A LOT of walking with those 2.  Loved that thing!


To learn more about Pups Pet Club, check out our YouTube video for a look at his pups and his facility!


Hope you enjoted this Blog brought to you by theDaddy.Guide! Be prepared when preparing your dog for the arrival of a newborn.  Feel free to check out other blog stories or some of our baby and toddler product reviews! Click here for the full review of the Bugaboo Donkey Stroller as recommended by Dan!

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