6 Ways to Prepare Your Dog Before Your Baby Arrives
If you are expecting a new baby, you already know that big changes are on their way. When you bring new life into the world, it is a huge responsibility to care for and love that baby.
During the first few months, you’ll be devoting almost all of your time to the new baby and that means other things may fall to the wayside. If you have a dog, there are certain preparations you should make to ensure that everything goes smoothly for the whole family. Keep reading to learn more.
Related: Tips for Preparing Your Cat for a New Baby
Tips to Prepare Your Dog for a New Arrival
When you first find out that you are expecting, it is easy to get caught up in the excitement of making the announcement and preparing your home for the new arrival. Amidst all of the excitement, however, you need to be practical.
Adding a new baby to your family is going to change your life, of course, but don’t forget about your dog! Significant changes like adding a new member to the family can be stressful for a dog and the new baby will take a lot of your attention. Follow these tips to prepare your dog for your new baby:
- Make sure your dog is up to date on obedience training – you need to know that he will listen if you tell him to sit and stay.
- Address any behavioral concerns sooner rather than later (like jumping up on people).
- Give your dog some extra socialization to get him used to being around babies and small children (as well as baby accessories like strollers and cribs).
- Start using a stroller when taking your dog for walks so he gets used to it.
- Think about who is going to take care of your dog when you head to the hospital to deliver – you should make sure he is set for a couple of days, just in case.
Related: Dogs Respond to Baby Talk
In addition to following these tips, you should spend as much time with your dog as you can in the weeks leading up to your delivery. The stronger your bond with your dog, the more likely he is to adjust well to a new addition to the family. You also just want to make sure he knows he isn’t being replaced.
How to Introduce Your Dog to Your Baby
When you are ready to bring your new baby home, you should think through the details of introducing him to your dog. You will probably already have the nursery set up, so make sure your dog is respectful of the space by making sure he has a comfortable space of his own – set up an area of the house with his crate or bed, his food bowls, and his favorite toys.
In terms of the actual introduction, keep it short and sweet at first. Your dog will be curious and maybe a little cautious, so try sitting down with your baby and let your dog come up and sniff him when he’s ready. Over the next few days you can let your dog spend more time with the baby, but always supervise the interactions just in case. Eventually, you can let your baby interact with the dog directly so the two of them can start forming a bond.
By following the tips provided above, you can improve the chances that your dog will adjust well to the new addition and will come to form a positive bond with your new baby. Keep in mind, however, that every dog is unique in terms of his personality – some dogs simply do not like or get along with children. So, do your best to smooth out the bumps in the road and follow the tips above to prepare your dog for your new addition to the family. Good luck!
Kate Barrington is the loving owner of two cats (Bagel and Munchkin) and a noisy herd of guinea pigs. Having grown up with golden retrievers, Kate has a great deal of experience with dogs but labels herself a lover of all pets. Having received a Bachelor's degree in English, Kate has combined her love for pets and her passion for writing to create her own freelance writing business, specializing in the pet niche.
More by Kate Barrington