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Baby on the Way? Here's How to Get Your Dog Ready

Posted by Joseph Watson on
Baby on the Way? Here's How to Get Your Dog Ready
Having a newborn is a massive life change that needs extensive planning and preparation. If your dog has been used to your undivided attention, the arrival of a baby will result in new disturbances.

It's understandable that your dog will be nervous and unsteady due to the shift in general household operations. He will become scared and probably hide in a corner if he is sensitive to strange noises, such as when the baby cries. Alternatively, he may desire your affection as a source of constant reassurance. Naturally, you'll want to assist your dog in adjusting to this new environment. Here's how to prepare your dog for a newborn.

Getting your dog ready for the birth of a baby

You can do some things to help your dog prepare for the addition of a new member of the family. You will minimize the effect of the changes on your dog after your baby is born by making minor adjustments to your dog's everyday routine during your pregnancy. Here's what you can do:

Tip #1. Consider how your dog's routine will possibly change until the baby arrives. Then, as your pregnancy progresses, you will begin to incorporate these changes. When your baby is born, for example, you might need to give your dog shorter walks, leave them alone for longer periods, or restrict their access to certain areas of the house.

woman standing beside black dog on snow field

Tip #2. Allow your dog to become accustomed to the sound of babies. Audio therapy can be used to familiarize the dog with the sounds of babies crying and children playing. With the aid of this helpful sound therapy method, gradually introduce these various sounds to your dog.

Tip #3. Introduce baby smells by enabling them to smell the new baby items you're buying (powders, nappies/diapers, lotions, etc.) to get used to the new scents. 

Tip #4. Introduce new toys to your dog, such as a stroller or pushchair, baby gates, bouncers, slings, or carriers. It's a good idea to get your dog used to walking alongside the stroller or pushchair before your baby is born.

Tip #5. To make your dog less inquisitive and learn to be quiet and gentle with the latest addition to your family, practice handling and carrying a doll-like infant.

baby lying beside brown dog

Tip #6. Ignore them occasionally. You can help your pets adapt by gradually spending less time with them now; after all, you'll be spending more time nursing the baby; inevitably. The thought of cuddling as much as possible before the baby's arrival is always welcome, but a gradual transition is much easier on an animal than cutting them off when you bring in the new baby home. Your companion will also assist by developing a closer relationship with the pets and redistributing some of the affection rather than withholding it.

Tip #7. Pup Junkies points out to remember to get your dog examined by a vet prior to your child's birth to ensure that they are safe and up to date on vaccines. Infants are susceptible to a compromised environment, and they may not withstand being as close to the dog as adults. Also, make arrangements to have the dog taken care of during the baby's delivery.

Introduction time

You'll want your dog's first experience with the baby to be a good one once the baby is born. Make the most of your dog's sense of smell. Send home luggage of clothing with both your clothes and the baby's scent from the hospital.

boy in gray and black sweater and blue denim jeans sitting on gray concrete road during

That is the first real introduction, and you'll be midway through the process. Enable your dog to sniff the stuff as much as he likes and encourage him throughout, without giving it to him because he might mistake it for a toy.

Allow your dog to welcome you first before meeting the new baby when you and the baby get home. Enable your dog to approach her, sniff her, and greet her. Please speak to your dog gently and quietly but cheerfully, and allow another family member to give him treats. This will assist him in associating the new addition with only positive experiences.

Final thoughts

The arrival of a baby brings significant changes in your everyday routine and lifestyle.

Consider the following scenario. You're about to give birth to your first child. Your dog has been your baby up to this point, and you can't imagine loving a baby as much as you love your dog. However, since the birth of your child, everything has changed. Suddenly, your dog is in the way, and you're worried that they'll hurt your baby or wake them up while they're sleeping. You're tired, but your dog needs to be walked, and muddy footprints are all over the place. 

As tricky as this scenario can be, those who have had to introduce a baby into a home with a dog can attest to the reality of these emotions. But, they do pass! If your baby and dog get introduced to each other in a calm manner and your pooch is well trained, there’s nothing to say they can’t be the best of friends. All the best as you try to make this work seamlessly!

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