If you have a new baby coming home soon, many exciting changes are happening in your household. You’re likely thinking, “Is my pet ready for a new baby?” There are probably many thoughts running through your head, and some of them can be a little nerve-wracking, too. Introducing a new baby into a home where your pet has always been number one is a significant change. Here are five tips to help prepare your four-legged baby for your new one.
Brush up on Training.
Dogs, especially, are sensitive to changes in our bodies and behaviors. Training will help you be more confident in your dog once the baby arrives. Reviewing basic training can help you, and your dog prepare for the new baby. This is an excellent time to brush up on your dog’s overall obedience training and practice commands from any position since you’ll likely be sitting with the baby frequently. Your dog may be excited, nervous or confused when a new baby is introduced, so it will help your pup to have familiar commands to perform – rather than jumping, barking or being scolded. You can walk your dog or have it walked for you to get out some of this nervous energy.
Get your dog used to not receiving as much attention.
This can be tough for most owners, but begin allowing your dog to eat, play, etc., in their own space. This helps your dog get used to not being the center of attention all of the time. In time, your dog will learn to enjoy their own quiet time and get the rest they need. It might help to set up a cozy corner or area in the house where they know they can go to be calm. This little nook can turn into a safe place where you can find them often going, especially if the baby cries and they are not fond of loud noises.
Hire a dog walker or dog sitter.
Hiring a reputable dog walker to help out several times a week not only gives the new parent’s a break but it gives the dog exercise, special attention and relieves the pet’s stress. You can also plan to hire a pet sitter while the new parents are staying at the hospital for a few days. Hiring the right pet professional ensures your dog has the care and attention they need while you’re busy or away.
Get your dog used to walking with baby strollers by giving them treats whenever they come close to or walk next to the stroller.
This can be part of your training regime by preparing for the baby’s arrival. Now you will have a new addition coming on your walks, so preparing your dog and making them comfortable with the new equipment involved will be beneficial. Once your dog is accustomed to walking beside a stroller, you can feel confident taking your babies out for a walk during the day!
Slowly introduce your dog to your new bundle.
Before meeting the baby, have your partner or a family member bring a baby blanket from the hospital with the baby’s smell on it so your pet can get used to it. As you’re doing this, you can also provide treats to build a positive association. Using positive reinforcement methods and slow introductions, your dog can get comfortable with who to expect and how to act. When introducing the baby, you can also have your dog on a leash or have your partner or family present in case your dog gets too excited.
By taking steps to prepare your dog for the new bundle of joy, you can ensure a smooth transition to the new family dynamic. In time, your dog will learn that the new baby needs extra care and attention, but all your love for them will be the same! Be sure to follow our social media on more helpful blogs! With extra thoughtfulness and care, your (now bigger) family will be much happier!