Growing up, our family didn't have pets other than goldfish. Some of us were allergic to dogs, others allergic to cats, though I think the biggest reason was that my parents decided that raising four children was enough to keep them busy. That makes our beagle, Dixie, the first pet I've been able to care for, cuddle with and truly love.
I have a few friends who decided to give their dogs away shortly after they brought home their first child. These stories motivated me to start researching and asking a trainer and a veterinarian what Chris and I can do to help make the transition easy for Dixie, baby and us.
Dr. Linda Kuhn, the veterinarian who many may recognize from her monthly appearances on WITN News at Sunrise with the Pet of the Week, had a lot of suggestions for us. She suggested we allow Dixie to get familiar with the nursery and the new furniture, along with the stroller, the baby's car seat and anything else bulky.
She also recommended that we have someone bring home a receiving blanket the baby was wrapped in at the hospital for Dixie to smell before the baby comes home.
Dixie's a pretty smart dog and has done well around babies of our friends. We are hoping for the best and doing everything we can to facilitate success.
How did things go when you brought a baby home to a dog or another family pet? Any advice on what has worked or what hasn't?