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You and your dog have been together for a while now. Nothing could separate the two of you, but as Lady and Tramp taught us, the family will grow.
Preparing for a new baby is an exciting and scary time, especially for first-time parents, but keep in mind, your dog may have never even seen a baby. If you’re expecting, here are some tips on how to prepare your pooch for the new arrival.
Before your baby arrives:
- Make you’re your dog knows the basic commands like sit, down, stay, and come. Always use calm, happy voices when training and try to maintain those same tones before and after the baby arrives. Our dogs are sensitive and sharp, harsh tones that may confuse or emotionally disturb them.
- Play infant sounds at home for the dog to get her used to the various noises she will hear once the baby arrives. This will help desensitize her to the crying and various other noises our little people make.
- Once the baby is born, bring home a blanket your infant has been using before you bring the baby home. Present this to your dog and let his smell it and get acquainted with your baby’s scent. Chances are, he’ll be very curious about the scent, and when you bring home your bundle of joy, she will remember the smell and start to form an association immediately.
- Establish rules for your nursery and implement them early. If you plan on keeping your dog out of the nursery or want to keep the dog out of certain places in the house, install a baby gate. Gates may confuse your dog at first but always stay positive and praise her when she follows the rules.
When your baby arrives:
- When mom first comes home with the new baby your dog will be very excited to see her; after all, she’s been away a few days. Have someone ready to help prevent your dog from jumping up for safety purposes but mom, while holding the new baby, should acknowledge the dog and exclaim how happy she is to see her. Positive, cheerful voices will let your dog feel included in all the new excitement.
- Bringing a baby home comes with a lot of new responsibility, but don’t neglect your dog. Make you’re your dog still gets her daily exercise and plenty of attention. She doesn’t want to feel she is competing for your love and care. Make your dog feel like the baby is a great new addition to your family and she will quickly bond, love, and want to protect your new bundle of joy.
- Finally, though you trust your dog, never leave her alone with your baby or small children. Keep both your kids and your dog safe.