New mum Amy shares the top tips she learned while introducing her gorgeous pup Arnie to daughter Polly. Read her blog to find out more.
Arnie joined our family in December 2019 and ever since then he has been our special little furbaby! We’ve enjoyed many adventures together as a family of three, with UK breaks away and lots of trips to the beach where he loves to play in the waves and chase his ball.
We knew one day if we were lucky enough we would expand our family, as both Sam and I wanted children. With Arnie getting most, if not all, of our attention it was crucial to us that we introduced our newest member of the family to Arnie in the best way possible.
Whilst I was pregnant, we researched ways we could do this in order to reduce stress and hopefully create a calm and inclusive environment for Arnie as we knew it would be a big shock for him.
We scoured the internet and read books including Dogs, Bumps and Babies written by Aileen Stevenson, which gave us many useful tips on what to do. Arnie also has his own Instagram account, so I followed pages such as Dog Meets Baby and reached out to other dog mums within the community who had been through the situation already and we tried to prepare Arnie the best we could for what was about to happen. I would spend time showing him the new baby items scattered around our house and train him to leave toys which weren’t his with lots of his favourite treats. We placed a phone playing a baby crying in the moses basket in order for him to get used to the sound and understand that it was nothing to be anxious over, as this would be downstairs and what he would be exposed to the most.
Our beautiful daughter Polly was born on the 24th November 2021. Luckily my parents live just up the road from us so whilst I was in hospital Arnie went for a sleepover where he got lots of cuddles!
Once we arrived home, we gave my parents a baby grow Polly had worn in the hospital for Arnie to smell before he returned to us the next day, not only did this give us time to settle in and get used to life with a new-born but it also gave Arnie the opportunity to acclimatise to the smell of a baby.
Arnie arrived home in a very excitable mood, and this was when our research helped. We had missed him so much, and he had missed us, so we gave him a fuss away from Polly and had his favourite Wagg treats out ready to spoil him. Once he had calmed down he met his new little sister! We left his lead on so we could control the situation better and not have him jump around near her or give too many kisses.
To begin with he was very weary and didn’t know what was going on, we gave him time and space when he wanted it and never made him feel uncomfortable with this new way of life as we knew it wasn’t going to be a quick process for him to get used to. We made sure to have him close by while changing nappies etc and kept a constant supply of treats for whenever he was calm and well behaved.
He soon came around and now six weeks in they are already becoming best friends!
Arnie now loves going for walks with Polly in the pram and has even enjoyed a ride underneath when he was tired!
We’ve been back to his favourite place; the beach and he loved every minute. He is however still wondering why she doesn’t throw his ball or chase him around yet!