You love your fur baby. They are a part of the family as much as anyone. Therefore, when a new baby is added to the mix, it’s important to keep your pets in mind. They were there first you know. For those of us who are older siblings, I’m sure you can recall the day your mother brought home baby and a ton of focus was shifted toward them. Same goes for your pets. It’s best to keep them healthy, happy and involved with these Easy Steps to take when preparing Dog for Baby.
Pets and Wellness
First and foremost, pets in your home prove to be profoundly beneficial. Pets lower stress levels, encourage responsibility in children and promote good health. When a baby is on the way, none of these facts are hindered. In fact, having a pet in the home during the first year of your baby’s life helps them to develop a healthy immune system.
Check out these 10 Amazing reasons Why Dogs are Good to Help Raise Children provided by Jenny from Here Pup. CLICK TO VIEW!
Preparing Dog for Baby
Set the Stage
Alright, so as you prep for baby, the scene is going to change. Gradually introduce baby items into areas where your dog frequents. If that is the living room, consider setting a tummy time mat out so that your dog can become familiar with the item. Allow them to investigate and see what new intruder has inhabited their space. However, do not allow them to lie on the baby gear.
You need to establish that this is a new addition to the house and it’s not theirs. Otherwise you will have to stress about whether your pup is battling the baby for a space to relax. Continue to bring out more items that will be used often when baby is around.
Encourage them to check it out, yet don’t allow them to take it over. Again, these are not their new toys. Interacting with these items often and early on will work in your favor when preparing dog for baby.
Rehearse Your Routine
As you approach your due date, go about your day as though baby has already arrived. Sit in the nursery rocker and read a book now and again. This will set a similar scene for when you feed and rock the baby. Practicing this routine now and familiarizing your dog with you entering this room frequently will curb their curiosity later.
Ponder on ways you can incorporate actions to mirror how life will be like after bringing baby home. When preparing dog for baby, allowing them to become accustomed to these routines now will reduce stress on your beloved fur baby as well as yourself.
Bring on the Babies
If your dog is an only child and has not been exposed to children often, grab your phone and dial all your mom friends. Invite them over and have them bring on the babies! This is a great way to get in touch with your girls before baby arrives and your schedule is swamped with feedings and diaper changes. In turn, it also presents an opportunity for your dog to become familiar with the idea of children around.
The more they see a child around and become used to the idea, the more accepting they will be when your baby arrives. To them it will be one more man cub running around. No big deal.
Strange Sweet Smells
When preparing dog for baby, it’s imperative to take into consideration all the new smells. Dogs are territorial, it’s in their nature. Their territory is home. How do dogs mark their territory? With their scent. They rub themselves on anything, especially when you are not looking. I’m talking dragging their bodies along the walls of the hallways and barrel rolling through all the rooms.
Yes, we have domesticated our loving fur friends to no longer defecate all over their belongings. However, this does not mean that their essence is not everywhere. We may not smell it, but other animals do.
For this reason, when preparing dog for baby, you must prepare them for the intrusion of a new sweet little smell. Before bringing baby home, have your partner, friend or family member take along an article with the new baby’s scent home. It can be a blanket or a hat, anything you choose.
Lie this scented object somewhere the baby will be often and in a place your dog will also frequent. For example, the tummy time mat in the living room is a great place. This will give your dog a chance to easily access this new smell in a familiar place. If you have educated your pup not to lie on the tummy mat, then they should only observe and sniff, which is exactly what they should do once you bring baby home.
The Man Cub has arrived
The big day! Bringing home baby is such a wonderful moment. Is your dog prepared for this new addition? Hopefully by now they have familiarized themselves with the new smells and the new baby arriving won’t be much of a shock. When introducing the new baby, don’t force your dog to interact.
Allow them to approach the baby and you when they feel comfortable. If you happen to be sitting where the dog may lie too, encourage them to sit close to you and baby. However, don’t force them up there. If they are timid at first, give it time. They will come around.
Don’t Dismiss the Dog
Baby life is busy. The days are long and the nights are short. Despite the lack of sleep and energy, you must maintain your dog’s schedule. Be sure to fit in their daily walks and bring baby along. This will reinforce the bond between baby and dog when they realize the baby walks with them. Not to mention, it helps you get some fresh air and a bit of exercise.
Keep treats close by in a jar on the counter to remind you daily that your pup needs love too. Make it a habit to go through a series of commands in return for a daily treat. Establishing these little routines will ensure your dog is engaged, happy and healthy even after bringing home baby.
We love our fur babies and they love you back. These tips are sure to help while preparing dog for baby and transitioning into this new phase in life. Get ready for that cuddle puddle, its going to be awesome!
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