If you’re expecting a new member in your family, then you’re probably already very busy with preparations. A new baby means new priorities and new routines, so you and your partner are probably already trying to adjust to how life will be when the baby arrives. There is one area, though, that many couples overlook when preparing for their child’s arrival: their dog.
If you don’t take the necessary steps, your baby’s arrival will come as a huge surprise to your dog, and depending on his personality, it’s possible that he won’t take the newcomer’s “intrusion” as well as you’d hoped. Therefore, it’s important to take steps before your baby is born to ensure that your dog is well-behaved and well-adjusted after the due date.
Address behavioral issues early.
If your dog still displays some behavior problems (however minor), it’s important that you address them before the baby arrives. Baby’s arrival will likely be stressful for your pet, and stress often exacerbates behavior problems. If you don’t address them beforehand, chewing, barking, indoor “accidents,” and other issues are highly likely to get worse when you bring home your newborn. If necessary, solicit the help of a trainer or veterinarian – whatever it takes to make sure your dog is well-behaved.
Make sure he understands a “Go to your place” command.
Once you bring home your baby, you’ll probably be using this command on a daily basis. It’s therefore important that you train your dog to have a firm understanding of this command before your baby is born. You’ll probably want to send your dog away when your baby is playing on the floor, when you’re changing diapers, etc. If your dog doesn’t know how to retreat to his own space (be it a dog bed, a corner, or any other specially designated place), it could cause problems in your home.
Get him used to scents, noises, and objects.
If your dog isn’t acclimated to the new environment that will inevitably accompany your new baby, it could cause him undue stress, which (as detailed above) can cause him to misbehave. Therefore, it helps to introduce some of baby’s sights, sounds, and smells even before your child arrives. Examples include occasionally:
- Sprinkling yourself with baby powder or wearing baby oil to introduce him to the new smells
- Playing baby sounds, such as cooing and crying (which can be easily found on the internet) so he reacts well to your baby’s own noises
- Introducing him to walkers and other baby toys
- Having friends’ children play with your dog
Help him bond with other family members.
If your pet is particularly attached to the mother-to-be, it could be helpful for you to introduce your dog to the idea of spending less time with her. Once the baby arrives, she’ll likely have less time to spend with the dog, but an instant separation can cause your pet anxiety and stress. To prevent this, take the time before baby arrives to get your dog used to spending time with the father-to-be or other family members, as they’ll likely replace his primary companion after the birth of your baby.
K9 Kingdom of Pittsburgh, PA
K9 Kingdom, located in northern Pittsburgh, is the area’s premier dog boarding, grooming, and play center. Their dedicated and knowledgeable staff is available to serve the residents of the Pittsburgh metro area by caring for their dogs, no matter the breed. For more information, visit their website at www.K9Kingdom.com today.