Welcoming a new baby is always a joyous occasion. What happens when there`s already a dog in the family? Why doesn`t my dog accept the fact that there is a baby in the family? Will my dog try to hurt my baby? Will they co-exist happily?

These are questions that many people find themselves asking. The answers are simple. Just as we prepare ourselves for the new baby, so must we do with our dog. Dogs sense that a woman is carrying a baby.

At the 8th month of the pregnancy, we could buy a baby doll, that makes baby sounds. Holding it during the day, `caring for it`, will help the dog get accustomed to the sounds and sights of a baby. Holding the baby, while at the same time petting the dog, shows the animal that it still holds its place in the family. This is the main reason why dogs become hostile to the baby. They feel neglected. Maintaining the dog`s daily routine at all times, before and after the baby arrives, is essential!

After the baby is born, before it comes home from the hospital, take a piece of clothing that the baby has worn and dress the doll in it. This way, in additon to the sights and sounds of a baby, the dog gets used to the smell of it, also. And as we all know, smell is a dog`s most powerful sense.

Finally, when the baby gets home, we let the dog come close to it right away, without fear, but never unattended! The dog might want to play with the new member of the family, but end up hurting the baby, inadvertenly. A newborn is very fragile, don`t forget!

Dogs are not jealous! They just want to maintain their place in the pack. They accept mom and dad being above them in the hierarchy. Using all the above steps, will help them co-exist with the baby, love it and respect it!!