updated 29 Aug 2011, 10:24
user id password
Wed, Aug 10, 2011
The Star/ANN
Email Print Decrease text size Increase text size
How to introduce your dog to your baby

Before baby arrives

  • TAKE the dog to the vet for a routine check-up and make sure vaccinations are up-to-date.
  • Spay your dog. Spayed canines tend to have fewer health problems and exhibit less aggressive behaviour.
  • Address obedience problems beforehand.
  • Accustom your pet to the smells and sounds of an infant. Play a recording of baby sounds; sprinkle baby powder on the furniture.
  • Set boundaries. At first, don't allow the dog to go into the baby's room; you may eventually give the dog permission to come in and explore, but under supervision.

When baby arrives

  • Take the dog for a walk to drain its energy and make sure it is in a calm, submissive state before it meets the baby for the first time. Make sure whoever is holding the baby is also in a calm but assertive state.
  • Allow the dog to sniff the baby but at a respectful distance. Repeat the process over time, gradually allowing the dog to get closer.
  • Supervise interactions between your dog and the baby at all times. When the child begins to crawl and explore, teach him not to provoke the dog by pulling or yanking its tail.
  • Keep play sessions short to prevent the dog or baby getting tired. Tired animals, like people, tend to become less tolerant. So use your discretion and keep it to one to four of five-minute play sessions per day.
  • Don't forget to maintain your dog's routine; give it its daily walks and provide a consistent leadership.

For more advice on how to introduce your dog to your baby, Cesar Millan, the star of the popular American TV series Dog Whisperer offers some great tips at


readers' comments

Copyright © 2011 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Co. Regn. No. 198402868E. All rights reserved.