How to safely introduce a new baby to your dog for the first time at home

Lauren Clark
·3-min read
New parents Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds have a rescue Jack Russell cross called Dilyn (Getty Images)
New parents Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds have a rescue Jack Russell cross called Dilyn (Getty Images)

This morning it was announced that Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds have welcomed a baby boy.

It is unclear whether the prime minister, 55, and his fiancé, 32, remain in the London hospital where he was born, or if they have headed home.

However, it is likely the newborn will soon meet the family’s beloved dog - a male Jack Russell cross called Dilyn.

Last September, he arrived at Downing Street as a 15-week-old puppy after being adopted by the couple from an animal rescue charity in south Wales.

Read more: Wilfred current favourite name choice for Boris Johnson and Carrie Symond’s baby

According to Blue Cross - which features a whole host of key advice on their site about introducing your baby and dog for the first time - it is wise to start making tweaks to the home environment around four months before the due date.

These include getting your pooch used to being touched all over by a tactile newborn, as well as preparing them for sounds like crying, gurgling and screaming.

They will also need to become familiar with new smells - such as baby powder and milk - and sights, like a cot and highchair.

Their exercise routine may need to change, with shorter walks, and they may need to become accustomed to being taken out with a pram.

Read more: Carrie Symonds trashes rumours she and Boris Johnson are getting rid of dog Dilyn

Additionally, you need to make plans so that your dog can eat their food in peace without distraction from a curious baby.

Get your pet used to the difference between their toys and the - often rather similar - ones played with by your baby, so you can avoid cross-contamination and confusion.

It is also wise to consider whether you will still allow your dog to sleep on the sofa or near your bed, as well as whether they are in good physical health.

Once your little one has arrived, you’ll need to take care when introducing them.

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The Blue Cross explain that the best way to do this “is when the dog is tired after a long walk and play session.

“At first, say hello to your dog without the baby in case they get excited and jump up at you. Later, the baby should be introduced in a quiet room where the dog has few associations – not in a place where they usually sleep or eat.”

It is important that they associate the “baby’s presence with positive, enjoyable experiences”.

The first interaction should involve the baby being held in your arms and the dog allowed to sniff them.

Read more: Carrie Symonds wears £100 Ghost dress to introduce rescue puppy

When they retreat, you should praise them and give them a treat - before carrying on with your day like normal.

They warn against putting the baby on the floor with your dog, and to never leave them unsupervised.

Carrie introduced Dilyn to the world on Twitter, sharing pictures of him playing in the Downing Street garden.

A matter of months later - during December’s general election - he was seen accompanying her on the campaign trail and being cuddled by Boris at the polling station.

The dog frequently features on Carrie’s social media, including a post to mark her birthday last month, however she recently had to dismiss reports she was re-homing him due to him being “sickly” and defecating around their home.