5 September 2022
Like most pet owners, your dog was probably your first child—your fur baby! You smother your canine friend with undivided love, care, and attention like you would give a human baby. Chances are your pet knows they are your one and only baby too.
Then an actual human baby comes and changes your activities drastically. Not only will it alter your everyday life but also your pet’s too. So how do you effectively share the news with your canine friend? Here are tips on how to prepare your dog when you are expecting your first child:
Because canine behavior tends to be unpredictable, planning how to help your dog get familiar with its sibling is critical. A new presence may excite or upset your pet, depending on how you—the parent and the pet owner—handle things.
In this situation, no amount of planning is too excessive. Better prepare your dog for the shift in the atmosphere it will experience once the baby arrives. If possible, give your pet basic commands to establish respect and boundaries. Make routine changes in advance to avoid surprising your dog.
As previously mentioned, respect and boundaries are essential for your pet’s and newborn’s safety. Once time passes, it will also help them establish a good bond. So practice your dog to become more obedient and receptive to human cues.
Train them not to jump you when you are holding the baby. Condition them to be calm in the presence of their sibling. Also, impose some restrictions beforehand. If you do not want your pet on specific pieces of furniture, better train them before the baby arrives.
Babies are going to be noisy and intrusive. They will take up even the space of your canine friend. So to not stress them out with the new presence, introduce baby smells and sounds to your dog beforehand.
Before the baby’s arrival, play recordings of baby sounds like waves of laughter and cries to accustom your dog to the noise. If they welcome the change earlier, they are less likely to be agitated and overwhelmed when the newborn is finally around.
Your dog might notice that a newborn’s walk and play times are getting shorter. As they were originally accustomed to your undivided attention, shift daily routines in advance to not shock your fur-baby when the newborn arrives and takes more of your time.
You do not want your pet to associate jealousy with the baby. So, shorten walks in advance so your dog does not feel like their sibling is stealing your time. Also, gradually lessen the amount of attention you spoil your pet with, for a newborn will keep your hands full.
If it takes patience to care for a dog, it takes more perseverance when having a pet and a human baby altogether. A newborn child will change everyday schedules and routines, which could confuse your canine friend if they are not prepared. So study the tips discussed above and help your pet get used to a new beloved figure in the house!