Preparing Your Dog for a New Baby
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Are you expecting? Congrats!
Bringing a new baby home is a huge change for the entire family. Your dog included! After all, he’s already claimed your home as his territory. Why does a tiny human think she can come in and steal all of the attention? Luckily, most dogs will react to a new family member without incident. However, there are some steps you can take to make sure the initial adjustment period is safe and stress-free for you, your new baby, and your four-legged friend. If you’re starting to think about bringing a child into your dog-dominated household, read up on these tips to help make the transition go as smoothly as possible.
Reinforce basic commands When preparing your dog for a new baby, it’s important to reinforce and practice basic commands. Even if your dog is well-trained, great with kids, and is usually calm and laid back, make sure she knows how to “sit” and “stay” like a pro before your baby comes home from the hospital. “Leave it” and “drop it” will also be important so your dog doesn’t think the baby’s toys are fair game.
Practice changes to your daily routine Having a new baby means your sleep schedule will be thrown off. If you anticipate taking afternoon naps while your baby is asleep, start taking the occasional mid-day snooze a few months before the baby arrives to get your dog used to your new schedule. To keep your pup’s meal times consistent before and after baby, consider using an automatic feeder.
Make sure your pup gets exercise Even though your time will be consumed with feedings and diaper changes, your dog will still need to be active. Consider hiring a dog walker to ensure your pup’s exercise schedule stays consistent. Dog daycare is another great way to allow your dog to burn excess energy and play with his canine friends.
Introduce your dog to new sights and smells Before the baby arrives, unwrap and introduce new items to your dog gradually. Car seats, high chairs, swings, toys, and bottles are all new territory your dog will be curious about. It’s also a good idea to start using your baby’s lotions, creams, shampoos, and powders on yourself so your dog gets used to the different scents.
As you patiently wait for your bundle of joy to arrive, rest assured that with the right preparations, your human baby and your furry baby will be best friends for years to come. Do you have a personal success story with preparing your dog for a new baby? Share your experience and tips with us on The Doggy Dojo Facebook page!
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