The arrival of a baby is a special and happy moment that changes the lives of every member of the family. However, this event can be stressful for your pet who is used to being the center of attention. Your pet will have to get used to the new sounds, the new objects, and the new doors. In this article, we will provide you with tips and advice to help make this transition easier and help your dog adapt to the situation better.
Prepare your dog before the arrival of the baby
The family is getting bigger and your head over heels in love with your baby. Just like an only child, this sudden change can frustrate, stress, and upset your dog. In order for everything to go well, it is important to prepare your dog to receive a new and fragile person in the family. They must also be prepared to receive less attention.
Teach your dog how to behave correctly
For your dog and baby to get along well together, it is important to refine your dog’s training. You need to teach your dog to stay calm, to lie down, to sit down, to respond to you, and to walk during your walks outside. To do this, teach your dog to stay in their bed or in their cage when they are ordered to. This place will allow them to calm themselves and to feel safe.
It is also recommended to teach your dog to welcome people without jumping on them. This is primordial, especially if your dog is very active. You need to teach your dog to play with biting and to let go of objects that they have in their mouths. For their training to go well, it is also important to associate their behaviour with a positive memory. Every time that you refuse to let your dog do or take something and they obey, reward them to be sure that your dog understands that this is good behaviour before the baby arrives.
On the other hand, if your dog is very stubborn, aggressive, and doesn’t listen to your orders, it is best to find dog training sessions. Dog training professionals will be of great help to you especially if your pet has taken the habit of doing a lot of quirks like barking at will. For the moment, this type of behavior can be a source of stress during the arrival of your child.
If your dog has behavioral problems, it is primordial that you take care of this before the arrival of your baby. If they growl, try to bite, or try to show their teeth, for example, contact your vet directly so that the problem will be resolved before the baby comes.
Lastly, it’s important that your get your dog used to not having access to certain rooms in the house. After the baby arrives, they will be able to understand that they are not allowed to enter the baby’s room. It’s also important to forbid your dog to play with your baby’s toys.
Teach your dog to be more independent
With the arrival of your baby, you will not have enough time to give to your dog. This change can affect their daily life and be a source of stress, anxiety, or even depression. To avoid this, it is important to teach your pet to get used to not be around you from time to time. The goal is not to put an end to your relationship. It’s enough to get your dog used to staying alone by proposing fun activities that do not need your presence. You can buy new toys for them so that they can play by themselves in their bed or in another room.
Put a new routine in place
The change of your dog’s routine is a stage that needs to happen little by little. When your newborn is there, your routine will not be the same. If you have gotten used to walking your dog at seven in the morning and six in the evening, it is very likely that your habits will change for the well-being of your child. Your dog will have a hard time understanding why their walk is no longer at the same time.
It is ideal to plan your dog’s activities according to the schedule that you’ll have when your baby arrives. the goal is not to stop the physical activities with your pet. Instead, it means finding a balance between the needs of your baby and those of your dog.
During your walks, even if your pet can already walk without pulling on the leash, it is important to get your dog used to a stroller. You should teach your dog to walk next to a stroller. You can start by doing this inside, near your house, and when your dog seems ready, outdoors. During these walks, keep in mind that it is dangerous to leave your dog’s leash attached to the stroller. Whatever change you need to get your dog used to, stay patient with them. Do not push your dog to learn too quickly and let them learn at their own rhythm.
Get your dog used to sounds and odors
If your dog has never had repeated contact with a baby since they were young, they might be surprised by the stimulus related to the baby. To help your dog, it is important to let your dog listen to recordings of crying babies at a low volume. When your dog get used to the sound, you can start to turn up the volume. You can easily download an application with these kinds of baby sounds on your phone or computer.
To help your dog familiarize themselves with new odors that will be permanent in your home after your newborn arrives, the ideal is to get your dog used to the types of products that you will be using when taking care of your baby.
How should I present my baby to my dog?
The moment has arrived! Your baby is here! Before presenting your baby to your dog, we suggest that you let your dog smell one of the clothes that your baby has already worn such as a bonnet. It is also preferable to ask someone close to you to feed your dog and take them for a walk before your baby arrives. This will allow your dog to be more calm when they meet your baby.
Once you arrive home, do not force your pet to come to you. Let them come naturally to meet the baby. Present your newborn delicately et let your dog sniff your baby if the meeting is calm. They can sniff the baby by sniffing their feet or their legs. Avoid letting your dog sniff your baby’s face at all costs. During this time, you can pet and caress your dog, talk to them, and congratulate them for behaving well.
For more precautions, it is recommended to leave your dog on a leash during the first meeting. If your dog has a negative reaction, you can take them away by keeping hold on the leash.
Presenting your baby to your dog: the basics
Dogs are not jealous animals. They can, however, feel like they are being abandoned if you can your habits and routines too quickly. For your baby and dog to get along, here are a few basic rules that you should follow:
- never leave your newborn alone with your dog even if your dog is kind and gentle,
- invite your dog to come to you when your baby starts to cry,
- take your dog with you on walks with your child
- take five to ten minutes to take care of your dog solely once or twice a day.
When you are feeding your baby, invite your dog to be around you. You can offer treats to your dog when they are by your side.
The first few months after your newborn arrives will be a big change even with great organization. If you feel overwhelmed, do not hesitate to ask someone close to you for help so that you can better handle your dog and make sure that they know that they are not alone or adandoned.