Dogs are loyal animals; so, with something monumental as a pregnancy, your dog has already sensed that change. Though, despite knowing this big change, your dog might not fully understand what’s going on.
So, before you introduce your dog to your baby, here are a few tips for you to safely prepare your dog for the new arrival.
“Your dog’s bad habits need to be addressed, before you have anyone new come to the house,” says Natasha Ringrose, a lifestyle writer at Ukwritings and Essayroo. “Training them to sit and stay is a good place to start. Then, you can add ‘leave it’ and ‘drop it’ to your list of commands. Make sure your dog understands basic commands, before adding new ones.”
Since a typical pregnancy lasts for nine months, that’s more than enough time for you to work with your dog to smooth out any unwanted habits. If bad habits still persist, hire a professional to help you get your dog on the right track.
- New Scents And Sounds
Before your baby arrives, introduce your dog to new smells and sounds smells. This can be the sound of a baby swing, the smell of baby shampoo or powder, or them seeing car seats and high chairs. These are also considered boundaries, because you’re letting your dog know that these belong to the baby, and are not to be chewed on or messed with. Your dog is allowed to sniff the item(s), but only at a distance.
You can even start carrying a lifelike doll, and let the dog see you carry it around in the home. This allows your dog to get used to the change that’s going to happen a few months down the road.
- Establish Boundaries
“It’s imperative that your dog knows about boundaries,” says William Davey, a pet blogger at State of writing and Revieweal. “First, make the nursery off-limits to your dog. You can either shut the door to the nursery, or condition your dog to understand that they can’t go in there without your permission. Eventually, you can let your dog explore and sniff the room with your supervision, and then decide when they should leave. Do this a few times before baby arrives, so that your dog understands and respects this boundary.”
- Oversee Introduction
First, wait until baby is comfortable to introduce him or her to the dog. Also, make sure that your dog is 100% ready to meet the child. But above all, stay calm when holding the baby and talking to your dog – you have to sound assuring to your pet, so that you can teach them to not be nervous in this introduction.
Start by walking your dog, and then bringing them home – this drains your dog’s energy, so that they won’t think to jump up to your baby. Observe your dog, as they sniff around – this is a sign that they’re recognizing a new person in the home, unless you’ve already had them familiarized with the scent months prior.
When you bring the baby close to the dog, don’t bring the child too close. Allow the dog to sniff the baby at a safe distance. Eventually, you can let your dog get closer and closer to the baby. This lets the dog know that the baby is another person to be respected in the home.
Also, you’ll need to teach your child how to respect the dog. (That means no yanking the tail or hitting!) This teaches both dog and child to have mutual respect for one another.
However, at the end of the day, your child’s safety comes first. So, if you’re still not 100% confident about your dog being around the baby, you may want to find another home for the pet.
Although baby might have a place in the home, it’s still important to never neglect your dog. You still need to maintain the routine of carrying for your dog, and keeping them entertained. Not only will this help your dog feel secure about the new addition to the family, but it will also eventually help them get to know the new member.
So, congrats on welcoming a new member to the family! And hopefully, baby and dog can get along together, and become great friends.
Molly Crockett writes for Bigassignments.com and Essay writer. As a marketing writer, she shares her unique lifestyle tips and personal development advice with her audience. She also writes for Best assignment writing service.