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Nervous about your new baby being around your dog? You may need a 'dog doula'

Posted at 5:40 PM, Oct 08, 2019

Whether you are an expectant parent or grandparent, one thing you might not think about before the baby arrives is preparing your dog for the new arrival. That’s where a "dog doula" can help.

What should have been a happy time to bring a new baby into the family was a bit stressful for Laurisa Truemper. She was nervous about introducing her dog to her baby, Hazel.

"Dogs are a part of the family so when you get a new member, you don’t think of getting rid of a family member," Truemper said. "You are just hoping everyone is going to get along.”

Her dog Ruby has always been a good dog. But Tanya Lim, the owner of Family Pupz in Denver, says a dog is still a dog. We should never assume it won’t bite.

Lim calls herself a "dog doula."

"As a doggy doula I support dog training for expecting families,” Lim said.

Lim tells her clients to observe how their dog behaves around the baby.

If it yawns, looks away, licks its lips, its ears go up or it has tension in the face, those are all signs of aggression or anxiety.

"A lot of times when there is a bite, people will say the bite came out of nowhere," Lim says. "However, if you observe footage of the dog you will see the dog was giving warning signs.”

To avoid a scary situation, Lim says to set up baby gates around the house. Never leave the baby and dog alone together. Also, place the dog crate in another room away from the baby. And never yell at the dog when you see aggressive behavior.

After a few easy adjustments given by Lim, Truemper noticed a big difference in behavior from Ruby. But she understands she will have to help her daughter Hazel act safely around Ruby as well.