Making the transition from being a pet owner to a family with the arrival of an infant is a beautiful time for a budding new family or even an existing clan expecting another addition. It can also be a confusing time for an animal who is used to being a the sole source of their master’s attention.

As responsible animal lovers, we always do our best when it comes to the care and ownership of our beloved dogs, cats and other critters. So in this light, here are some tips on making this transition as smooth as humanly possible, pardon the pun.

#1 - A Scentsational Transition

Here’s a trick many new parents use to warm up their pet to the arrival of an infant before the baby even comes home. Before bringing the little one into the house for the first time, consider grabbing a blanket from the hospital that your baby has been swaddling in and allow your dog to get a good whiff.

A dachshund and baby

We all know how strong and sensitive a dog’s sense of smell is compared to that of a human being. This is one way to soften the blow, so to speak, when it comes to this transition. Before the baby comes into the picture, your dog will already be acclimated to this unfamiliar smell and won’t come as such a shock to their system.

#2 - Sights And Sounds

Obviously the arrival of your bundle of joy comes with lots of changes to your household. Setting up the nursery, adding new furniture like a crib, changing table, perhaps a swing and other accoutrement. Allow your dog to be aware of these new additions well in advance of your baby’s arrival, but at a safe distance. You’ll want to set up some boundaries that will lessen over time once your pooch becomes more comfortable with the little one as it continues to develop.

Some prospective parents will also prepare their pooch for the peculiar sounds that an infant makes, especially the shrill sound that accompanies a baby’s cry. You can use online sources such as YouTube to search for videos (complete with audio) of babies crying to introduce your dog to these types of unexpected sounds to their sensitive hearing.

#3 - Preparing For The Introduction

Almost all dogs enjoy the time they spend with you when we take them out for a brisk walk. Following this typical trek would be the perfect opportunity to make that first-time introduction between pet and baby more successful. In other words, you can take your dog out for a nice, long walk before making the initial face-to-snout meeting.

A child walking with a dog

This way your dog will not only be more passive following this form of exercise, they’ll also associate your baby with a positive experience. Eventually, you’ll likely be walking your dog alongside a baby carriage in the very near future.

#4 - Calm And Controlled

Now that your dog is weary from his (or her) walk, they’re also already on a lead or leash, which gives you control during the first meet and greet. While the mother is holding the child, allow the leashed canine to smell the baby from a safe distance while reassuring them what a good dog they are in a calm, soothing voice.

In no time at all, you’ll be snapping the most adorable pictures of your new baby and their beloved pet. They’ll be like two peas in a pod and you can blow up social media with all of the great pics of the newest addition to the family along with their favorite four-legged best friend.