There is nothing joyful as bringing in a newborn member to the family. As a parent to both your baby and pooch, it is your duty to foresee the changes that a newborn baby can inflict and prepare your dog for it. We suggest that you start preparing your dog well in advance prior to the arrival of the baby. Such planning is imperative for alleviating any accidents or emotional drama.
When it comes to preparing your pooch for the arrival of the new addition, your prime focus should be on two factors:
- Making your dog knowledgeable on how to interact with the new member
- Helping him to understand and adjust to the changes in routine that may follow
Before bringing the baby home
It is ideal to start training your dog four months before the arrival of new baby.
Preparing him for a new sense of smell, sound, and sight
Dogs, especially if they have to spend time with babies, will find it overwhelming to hear and see a new addition. They can get easily get scared and act awkward.
Gradually introducing these elements well before the baby arrives is a good start.
Use recorded baby noises to introduce and accustom your dog to baby noises. Ensure that you are around during the occasion and give him plenty of treats so that he will associate the experience with a positive feeling.
Using baby powder and oil on yourself when you are at home is an ideal means to accustoming the pooch with the baby smell.
One way of familiarizing the dog with the sight of the newborn, well before you bring him in is by using a doll. Get a lifelike doll and stimulate some activities that you would normally do with a baby, like carrying him around and feeding.
The idea is not to trick your pooch into thinking that the doll is a real baby, as a matter of fact; your dog will easily recognize a doll. However, with this effort, you can get a fair idea about the kind of obedience training that your dog needs prior to bringing in the baby.
For instance, if your dog seems to jump up on the couch when you are sitting on it with the doll, you need to train him against it. With a doll in hand, you can also get an insight into your limitations on taking care of both the baby and the dog simultaneously.
Accustoming your dog to lifestyle changes
Foresee the changes in your schedule and start introducing it so that your dog gets accustomed to it easily and effortlessly. For instance, if you plan on napping when the baby naps, start taking short naps in the afternoon.
If you feel that you won’t be able to take your pooch out for a walk as frequent as before, you need to hire a dog walker and introduce him to your dog.
Reduce the attention that you give to your dog gradually so that he wouldn’t feel let down when the baby arrives. Schedule short cuddling and play time with your dog and gradually reduce it. Make these sessions random so that your dog does not expect you to be with him at a particular time of the day.
Preparing your dog to welcome a baby is not an easy task. It is important that you prepare yourself mentally and carry out the task with patience to be successful.