Dogs are extremely intuitive. They know when something big is about to happen. Just as new parents get antsy, so too will your pet. If your pet is your family’s first “baby” then you know how it might be a bit out of the ordinary to introduce your pet to your newborn baby.
Bringing a newborn into the family home can be a bit unpredictable. Just as the baby will change your life so will he or she change your dog’s routine as well. While your pet may have had your full attention up until your baby’s arrival, an infant will demand your attention full-time. Your pet may be jealous so you will need to create a new schedule and let your pet adjust naturally.
What Should I Do While Expecting Our Baby?
It might be the ideal time to send your pet to obedience training. As your pet’s behavior will be an issue, it could become more problematic as your pregnancy stages increase. A pet behavioral specialist will know how to deter your dog’s actions to make it safer before the baby arrives.
If your pet has never adapted to other children or pets, it is the ideal time to introduce them since your baby will soon be a huge part of your family structure. Having your pet around smaller children will get him or her used to laughing, crying, sudden movements, and up-in-their-faces communication styles. The more you expose your pet, the better off he or she will acclimate.
A few months before your baby’s arrival, you should begin to prepare your pet for the big day. Buy a doll to portray your infant and see how your pet reacts. Make sure to act realistically so that your pet will become accustomed to your behaviors as well. Make sure to show your pet diapers, baby powder, and lotions so that he or she gains such experiences.
By now, you probably already have your stroller as well. Practice walking your dog with the stroller and baby to acclimate your pet to this schedule. You should also practice your actions as well. Did you loop the leash over the stroller handle? Keep in mind your pet is still an animal and may run when a cat or squirrel passes by. It will do you good to practice these drills as well.
About a month before your due date, your pet should be more accustomed to the baby’s arrival. Do you have a schedule in place for baby and pet feedings? Who will walk the dog? Do you have someone on hand to walk care for your pet while the baby is a newborn?
Very few people know their due dates, so it will be a good idea to have a plan in place. Prepare a kit with your pet’s food, leash, and vet information for your sitter. You should also anticipate your pet will be as anxious as you are, so make sure to keep a few treats handy just in case.
When you make it back home, your dog will need a bit of love and time to smell the baby and see how both fit into this new household. If your pet is having a hard time adjusting, try giving him or her our Naturally Calm Anxiety Support Chews to improve mood or emotions.