Today is national love your pet day and if anyone knows me… this is my kind of holiday. I remember when I was pregnant I used to say I wasn’t sure if I’d love my baby as much as I love Gunner. Let the record stand I was mistaken by 100%. But it does not change the fact that I love this dog so incredibly much and he will ALWAYS be my first baby.

When people learn that I have a 1 year old pitbull in my house as well as a newborn their mind always goes to one question… 
How does the dog do with the baby?
If I’m being completely honest, Gunner is such a good big fur brother. He loves to sniff Tate all the time. He runs to get us if Tate’s crying in another room. And for the most part if a person is holding Tate he’s incredibly gentle and with a little coaching will leave them alone. 

Once I found out I was pregnant I too was a little nervous of how Gunner would be with the baby. For one, he went from being my sweet social pup at the dog parks to my super protector against any dog that came anywhere near me.  Secondly, going from being the only baby to sharing the spotlight is hard on anybody. In my mind I wondered how will he cope with the change? Is he going to be extra possessive of the baby? Will he let other people come near him? 

But you have to know your dog. I know Gunner is such a sweet pup. And even with all the over protectiveness towards me I knew that he would accept this baby; cries and loud, smelly poops included. But I wasn’t sure how long this acceptance would take. So I got out the material and started reading up on how to acclimate your dog to your newborn and how to get him ready for the big life change. Here’s the best tips I found! 
  • Start slow. Aka do NOT just walk into the house after being gone for 2-3 days with a new baby. That adjustment is hard. I read that prepping the dog with things like recorded cries and loud baby toys is a good start. Another great tip I loved, was having someone bring the baby’s birth hat home and let your dog smell it so he can get used to the smell and know what to expect when you bring baby through the door. 
  • Share the love. This one was a little tough for us. I mean Gunner loves his papa more than anything but in reality he’s my baby. That meaning it’s mostly me that feeds, walks and plays with him. After having a new baby its nearly impossible to show him the same attention with baby demanding so much. Share some of that responsibility with your significant other/ support system. Start having them play with your dog more, walk them, etc. This is so important so that when you physically can’t do these things anymore your dog will already be used to the change and feel comfortable going with the other person just as much as they would with you. 
  • Don’t keep the dog away. Many people when holding Tate try to push Gunner away if he comes to the baby. But with us it’s the opposite. We let Gunner get his sniffs in (to an extent of course because he seriously would sniff baby all day if we let him). During my research I read if you try to keep your dog away from baby he will begin to resent the child and be skittish or angry when in its presence. 
  • Don’t stop the love. Just because you have a new baby does NOT mean that you should stop the affection with your dog! Now this one is the hardest for me. Between crying, diaper changes and being up all night it is so hard for me to find the energy to play fetch or even pet poor Gunner Bunner. But now with Tate getting a little older and a little more independent (some days), I make sure any additional energy I have I give some of it to Gunner. After all he still is my baby. 

Puppies and babies are very similar. And having two at the same time is definitely difficult but it can be done. Now there was some talk about getting another puppy at some point, but I’m sure with all the changes we all agree that should wait a while.

Aysia B.