If you already have a dog, bringing your new baby into your home is going to be an adjustment for everyone in the household. With so much preparation to do in so many different areas, don’t forget about getting your dog ready for the arrival of your bundle of joy. Planning ahead of time is the key to having your baby and dog live harmoniously with each other.
When You Find Out You Are Having a Baby
Early in the game, it is a good idea to sign your pup up for a basic obedience class. This will be particularly helpful to help rid your dog of habits that may potentially cause a problem later on when your baby arrives.
For example, if you have a big dog that loves to jump up on you when you come home, this needs to be remedied. If you are nine months pregnant or carrying your little one in your arms, you don’t want to risk being knocked down by your overly excited canine.
At this point, another thing you can do is try and socialize your dog by being around young children. Taking your dog to the park may help him to acclimate to the sights and sounds of little ones.
Three Months Before Baby Arrives
As silly as it may sound, Parents Magazine recommends preparing your dog for the arrival of your child by carrying around a baby doll. They suggest treating it just as you would your infant, by letting it occupy your bassinet, crib, and swing.
This is so that your dog can sniff around and become familiar with these items now, instead of when your infant is inside of them. Scents such as baby lotion and powder may also be introduced to your pup.
One Month Before You Give Birth
Now is the time to go ahead and make arrangements for your dog for when you will be at the hospital delivering your baby. You will likely be gone for several days, so be sure to plan who is going to be feeding and walking your dog for you. Having a backup person at the ready is also a good idea in case you need to go to Plan B.
Two Weeks Before Baby Comes
Unless a cesarean section has been scheduled, it is up to Mother Nature when the delivery date is going to be. For this reason, it is wise to be completely ready for your dog’s caregiver. Have your dog’s meals divided into individual servings, keep important phone numbers visible, and have the dog’s leash at hand. Be sure to give your canine a little more TLC at this time so that he will stay as relaxed as possible during this time of transition for your family.
During Your Time at the Hospital
Be sure to verify that your dog sitter made it into your house with no issue and that your dog is well. At some point, ask a relative to take one of your baby’s blankets or bodysuits so your dog can become acclimated to your baby’s smell. Now, when your baby comes home, your doggie will recognize your infant’s unique scent.
When You Arrive Home
To begin, let your partner hold your baby as you walk into your home. After you have greeted the dog and it has relaxed a bit, have a seat with your infant and allow your dog to sniff your baby if you are comfortable with it. This will help the two become acquainted with one another in the most basic way.
Want to ensure that their baby/dog interactions remain positive? Don’t hesitate to ask your veterinarian for tips about anything related to life with your dog. They hold a wealth of information for you.