It’s something a lot of new mothers worry about. How will my dog react to a baby in the house? Instead of waiting to find out the answer to that question on the day you bring baby home, you should take the time to prepare your pet well in advance! Here are 10 Tips to ensure you and your dog are ready for the changes a new baby will bring!
1. Training- if your dog has manner issues like jumping or barking then it’s definitely time to start working on them. If you don’t have the time to train your pet yourself, find a trainer who can work around your schedule.
2. Exercise- getting your critter out for a walk often will keep his energy down. That way he won’t become too excited around the baby. A dog that gets regular exercise has fewer behavioral problems as well.
3. Vet Checkup- make sure that your dogs vaccinations are all up to date and bring him in for a checkup before baby arrives. It’s also a good idea to have your pet spayed or neutered in order to prevent health and behavior problems.
4. Grooming- make sure your critter is groomed and bathed regularly and that his nails are kept nicely trimmed. Short nails are a must around a baby!
5. No Spoiling- if your dog is used to being the center of attention it’s going to be a difficult adjustment when he has to compete for all that attention with the new baby. Try to distance yourself from your pet and set up boundaries so they know you won’t be there to cuddle them at every hour of the day!
6. Off Limits- teach your dog what is off limits to him now that a baby will be living in the house. Put up a baby gate at the entrance to the nursery and make sure to keep it a dog free zone. This would also be a great time to teach them to stay off the furniture!
7. Noises and Smells- get your pet used to loud noises and certain smells that a baby will bring. Rub baby lotion on your hands and use powders so fido can grow accustom. Also teach your critter to be calm when hearing scary noises like crying or loud laughing. Breeds like huskies and bloodhounds will sometimes howl just as loudly back if they don’t know any better!
8. Other Babies- if you have friends with babies; invite them to come over to the house so you can introduce your pet to them and their baby. Make sure to take the meeting slowly to ensure a positive experience for everyone involved!
9. Token from the Hospital- Before baby comes home; have someone bring home the baby’s blanket or any other item that has the baby’s scent. Your pet will be able to get used to the new scent right away and won’t be pushy later when it comes to smelling the baby.
10. Homecoming- Your dog will be very excited to see you when you get home from the hospital so make sure to give him some love. Greet him without the baby first in case he’s overly excited. This is also a good time to introduce him to baby. Make sure to go slow and keep it positive!
By following these easy steps before and after baby arrives you will ensure your pet is grateful to have a new member of the family for him to love!