Prepare Your Dog For When Your Baby Arrives

Are you an expecting pet owner who is worried about how to prepare your dog? Here are a few ways you can prepare ahead of time, as well as some things to watch out for concerning your dog’s behavior.

 

PREPARING AHEAD

Make a conscious effort to gradually decrease the amount of attention you give your dog throughout the day.

Give your dog longer periods of undivided attention (such as playing fetch in the yard or going for a long walk) rather than short bursts of attention throughout the day.

This will prepare your dog for the inevitable decrease in attention he will receive when baby comes.

Slowly start to make any schedule changes before baby actually arrives.

OTHER PREPARATIONS BEFORE BABY’S ARRIVAL

  • Move your dog’s things, if any, out of the nursery before baby arrives.
  • Begin to teach your dog to stay off beds and furniture.
  • Continue to provide exercise and mental stimulation for your pet, even if you have to hire a dog walker or pet-sitter.
  • Hire a professional trainer to handle any form of aggressive or problematic behavior in your dog.

UNDERSTAND YOUR DOG’S BEHAVIOR

Growling is a warning sign that gives you a chance to address the problem.

Do not punish warning signs–otherwise, your dog may go directly to overt aggression without issuing a warning next time.

Watch for signs your dog is stressed out, including panting, freezing, and tense body language.

– via Victoria Stilwell Positively

What To Do When Expecting: Pet Care

How do you prepare your dog, and yourself, before your baby arrives? Here are a few things you can do to make the process a bit easier, when you find out you’re expecting and when you bring the new baby home.

When you find out you’re expecting…

If your dog hasn’t been to a basic obedience class, it’s time to sign him up.

Behavior that seems innocuous now — like jumping up to greet you at the door — might become an issue when you’re eight months pregnant or carrying an infant in your arms.

An instructor can help correct that.

Many dogs have never been around children before. Little people do unpredictable things that adults don’t, like make sudden movements, shriek, and get in dogs’ faces.

To give your pet exposure to tots, take him to the park to see how he reacts to babies from a distance.

Coming home…

Brace for lots of licks! Your pooch is going to be overjoyed to reunite with you. “Let your husband hold the baby when you walk into your house. Greet the dog first, since he’s missed you and will probably give you an enthusiastic hello.”

Then, after he’s chilled out, sit down with your baby and let your dog sniff him to get acquainted.” The first few times you nurse or give your baby a bottle, ask your husband or mother to dole out a handful of small, special treats, like chicken tidbits, to your pet.

“Dogs sense that nursing is intimate,” Saul says. “If they learn they get rewarded for being tranquil, they’ll associate feedings with positive times.”

In the midst of all the newborn’s demands, don’t forget that exercise is your pup’s happy pill. If he’s not getting enough, he’ll find a way to burn off his energy — even if it means raiding the garbage!

– via Parents Magazine

How did you prepare your dog for when your baby arrived? Did he have trouble acclimating or did he take it well?

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