Often our dogs are our first babies and they are used to being the centre of attention. Here are some important steps to take before the arrival of a
new baby to help your pet adjust.
1. Teaching your dog some basic obedience skills will help you manage behavior once the baby comes, commands like sit, stay, and not jumping up are important to instill in your pet prior to babies arrival.
2. Plan and Practice Changes to Your Daily Routine: It may help now to prepare
your dog for a less consistent daily schedule once baby arrives. Start doing
things like varying the time you feed and walk your dog, and taking naps at
various times in the day.
3. Minimize Changes in Attention: Try to avoid showing your dog extra love and attention right before baby arrives. Instead plan times of play and cuddle time so your dog gets used to not always being the centre of your attention. Schedule your sessions randomly so that your dog doesn’t come to expect attention at any particular time.
4. Make New Rules Now: If you will be introducing some new rules such as no
jumping on the bed/furniture, ensure you introduce those rules before baby
5. Introduce Your Dog to Baby Sights, Sounds and Smells: Start unwrapping some of the baby items you will be using such as the swing, diapers/wipes, clothing etc. This will give your dog an opportunity to get used to some of the new sights, sounds and smells that come along with a new baby.
6. Prepare Your Dog for the Baby’s Touch and Movement: accustom the dog to the types of touching you can expect from your baby, including grabbing, poking, pushing and pulling. If you teach your dog that good things happen when she
gets poked and prodded, she’ll be able to better tolerate potentially uncomfortable interactions with the baby.
Most dogs quickly view a baby as an integral part of the family. They easily adopt the roles of protector and playmate, and they’re thoroughly tolerant of children’s antics. Using some of these tips can help prepare Fido for its new life with a baby and help everyone live happily together.
By Kerri - Babeez Doula
Article adapted from ASPCA.org
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