While you start shopping for baby clothes, kits and cribs and preparing the nursery well before the baby is due, there is another important family member who has to be informed in advance about the new arrival in the family and that is your dog.
Dogs are especially attached to their owners and like siblings when they see added attention being given to a new member of the family, they might feel uncomfortable and stressed. To ease this, experts advise to start preparing the dog for the new bundle of joy well before the nine months.
Here are some helpful tips:
- Dog Journal – Your dog might be sensitive to certain loud noises, to people or to sudden movements. It is good to keep a note of his fears in advance so that before the infant is born, the dog is trained to calm down in such situations.
- Obedience Training – The usual skills that owners teach their dogs like come, sit, stand, and walking on a leash need brushing up so that with the baby you know that your dog will obey commands immediately without adding to the unending list of chores.
- Behavior Training – When the baby is around, even the bark of the dog may seem annoying. There are also other behavior problems such as jumping around, jumping on the bed, aggressiveness etc. that need to be controlled before the baby comes, as these may startle the baby or disturb his sleep. As the dog needs to be trained to behave, you might consider getting a trainer or an animal behaviorist to help.
- Crate Training – Just like cribs provide safety for babies, crates can become safe havens for the dogs around the house. It is a place they can call their own and go to whenever they feel uncomfortable with the baby around. It is also a place where you can leave the dog when you need more time with your child. But it is advised that the dogs should be left in the crates just few hours at a time.
- Socializing with babies – Your pet dog may not be used to seeing a baby or hearing his wails all the time. To make him more comfortable around a baby, it is good to initialize a baby atmosphere at your home by inviting friends with babies or playing baby sounds around the house.
- Homecoming – Before you introduce your baby first time to the dog, to make the experience more pleasant and cautious, ask a friend or family member to be around. They may hold the baby while you are free to greet the dog and let him know that he is still an important part of your life. The baby can then be introduced to the dog slowly; making sure it is just for a few minutes.
– Atula, Staff Writer
- Baby Proofing Your Home
- The Hottest New Pet – A Micro-Pig! Would you?
- Family Dog Snatches Newborn From Crib, Leaves Him In The Woods