Are you expecting? And do you have a dog? If you’ve answered “yes” to both questions, then you’re not alone!
While having a dog is exciting, things can change when you plan to welcome a child into the world. The good news is, the experience doesn’t have to be stressful for both you and your dog. With preparation, you’ll be able to introduce your dog to your newborn without much issue.
In this quick guide, we’ll show you how to introduce your dog to your new baby gradually. Keep in mind: It’s important not to rush things as you make this momentous introduction.
“First and foremost, you’ll need to handle your dog a certain way when you’re pregnant,” says Jerica Wilson, a pet writer at Academized. “Normally, you’ll allow your dog to lay all over you. However, when you’re pregnant, you can’t let your dog get overly excited. So, work on gentle handling techniques that get your dog to relax and be quiet. Gentle handling techniques can also be useful if your dog is sensitive about being touched in certain areas.”
New Smells, Sounds, And Objects
Next, you’ll need to introduce your dog to physical changes in the home. For example, soaps and baby powder can be something that your dog can sample with their nose just weeks leading to the special arrival.
Also, play artificial baby sounds from your phone or radio for short periods of time daily. Keep in mind: These generated sounds should be barely audible at first before increasing the volume so that your dog can get used to the noises.
Then, start placing baby things – high chairs, changing mats, playpens, and so on – into the home so that your dog can see and acknowledge them. Remember: Do this gradually so that the home doesn’t become foreign to your pet.
Preparation Two-Weeks Before Due Date
Just two weeks before your due date (provided that you’re not required to do a C-section or induction), you’ll need to prep your dog for your hospital stay. That means doing and ensuring the following:
- Divide the dog food into servings.
- Write down a list of helpful phone numbers for the sitter
- The vet
- Family members
- Emergency numbers, etc.
- Place your dog’s leash in a convenient place.
Prepping For When You’re In The Hospital
“When you go to the hospital, you’ll have to leave Fido at home,” adds Wilson. “That’s why you’ll need to have a family member, a trusted friend, or a dog sitter to tend to your dog’s needs as you recover at the hospital. Keep in mind: It takes time for your body to recover after giving birth to your child. So, your best bet is to have someone you trust to take care of your dog while you’re gone. Make sure that your dog has plenty of food, water, toys, and hygiene products for when you’re at the hospital.”
So, now that you’re back home, it’s time for the moment of truth: introducing your dog to your baby. First, have someone in your family hold your baby as you walk into the house to greet your dog. Once your dog has calmed down from its excitement, sit down with the baby, and then let your pet sniff. If the first interaction is successful, then give your pet a treat.
As your dog gets to know your baby, it’s important to supervise their interactions with each other. When supervising, keep the following objectives in mind:
- Give your dog pet toys so that they’re not tempted to chew on any of your baby’s toys.
- Install safety gates to keep your dog out of “baby-only” areas.
- Keep your dog’s and your baby’s food separate from each other. You wouldn’t want your child to get sick from ingesting dog food or treats.
- As your baby grows, they’ll grab things. Make sure that they don’t grab your dog’s tail.
- Never EVER leave your child unattended with your dog. You never know if your dog will turn on your baby and either drag, knockdown, or bite them.
By following this quick guide, your dog’s introduction to the baby will run smoothly. Eventually, Fido and the child will become best friends forever! Ultimately, planning can help you, and your dog gets adjusted to a new baby coming into the home.
about the author
Elizabeth Hines is a writer and editor at UK Writings. As a content writer, she specializes in marketing, social media, and technologies.
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