For many of us, our pets are just like children. We have had them since they were puppies, and until now, they have been the only one getting the attention and pampering in the house. But now, there’s a new baby coming to town. Can their entrance into the family make your dog a bit jealous? Yes. Does this have to be the case? Absolutely not.

When it comes to introducing dog to baby, it’s all about establishing positive association. That means allowing for your dog to begin linking good sensations and outcomes with the presence of your baby. Follow these tips to be sure the process of introducing dog to baby and vice versa goes as smoothly as possible.

  1. Allow your dog to meet the baby when both are feeling particularly calm. There’s no need for nerves to be involved on either side.
  2. Keep the first interactions short. Allow your dog to sniff its new pal for a few seconds, then interrupt this and reward him for keeping his cool by giving him a treat.
  3. Prevent your dog from licking your baby. As much as it may want to show the little one some affection, this can be an easy way for your dog to share harmful germs. It’s especially important to watch for this while your baby’s immune system is still growing and they are more susceptible to illness.
  4. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap prior to handling the baby in the instance that you have made any contact with the dog. A reliable hand soap option is Dettol No-Touch Anti-bacterial Hand Wash, which kills 99.9% of bacteria.
  5. Keep a close eye on your baby’s toys. Be sure that you and your dog have the “leave it” command understood in the event that they get their mouth on one of the toys. Disinfectants will come in handy here. An easy disinfectant option is a handy pack of Dettol®Antibacterial Wipes. Simply wipe down the toy thoroughly, rinse with water and then dry it off before your baby gets back to playing with it.

Follow these tips to allow your dog and baby to build a great relationship as safely (and cleanly) as possible.