How To Prepare Your Dog For Your New Baby
There is nothing more special than bringing your new bundle of joy home. Along with all the excitement, you may feel a little nervous introducing your baby to your existing pets. The best way to alleviate this stress is to start preparing your dog before the baby is born.
Follow the tips below to ensure that your newborn baby and dogs are well-acquainted from the start.
To ensure that the whole process of bringing home a new baby goes smoothly, make a conscious effort to give your dog less and less attention throughout the day. However, whatever you do, do not neglect your dog but rather give him/her longer periods of undivided attention, as opposed to short bouts, such going for walks, playing fetch, etc.
Make sure your dog is trained to stay off all beds and furniture. Purchase your dog a dog bed or cushion.
You will also need to desensitise your dog to the smell and sound of your baby. You can do this by playing baby sounds at a low volume, then slowly increasing the volume while ensuring your dog remains calm. Also, buy a realistic doll to prepare your dog for what a baby looks like.
If your dog has not been around babies or young children, walk a safe distance past a playground or school with your dog. If your dog shows any form of aggression towards children, consult a professional dog trainer immediately.
If any of your dog’s items, such as bowls, blankets or toys are in the nursery, remove the items before you bring the baby home.
Once the baby has arrived
If you feel as though your dog has any tendency to be hostile towards your baby, hire a professional dog trainer to help you with the introduction.
Make sure the dog smells and greets all other members of the household before bringing the baby inside. If you have multiple pets, let each pet meet the baby one at a time. To ensure maximum safety, put a dog lead on all the dogs for the introduction. Remove the baby from the area if the dog projects questionable behavior. Here are important warning signs to look out for:
- Tense body language
- Fast panting