Prepare Your Dog for Baby
Is your family growing? Congratulations! Bringing a new baby home is an exciting time, but it can be especially stressful for your family dog – after all, they’re used to being the center of attention.
Take these steps to prepare your pup for the new little family member, and gain the peace of mind that you’ll bring baby into a happy and healthy environment.
Review their manners. Take time to re-train your dog on all their basic manners – think sit, stay, down. Practicing these commands while you’re in resting positions is key, too. You’ll want to make sure they’ll listen to you no matter what your body language.
Socialize them. Try to introduce Fido to small children and babies in a positive and controlled environment. Do you have any friends or family members with little kids? Start by spending some quality time with them – it’s great practice!
Switch up your routine. Keeping a consistent schedule when you have a baby is no easy task. Prepare your dog for a varied schedule by switching up their feeding and exercise times from day to day – they’ll get used to a more flexible routine.
Know your dog. Take some time to research their breed and understand their sensitivities. Some dogs respond differently to noises or fast motions – knowing this ahead of time will help you manage your dog’s stress levels when baby comes.
Get familiar with baby supplies. Allow your fluffy friend to explore the baby equipment – toys, cribs, changing stations, strollers. This way he won’t be so alarmed to see you using it, and you can teach him proper behavior when around it.
Designate dog zones. It’s a good idea to have some dog free zones when first bringing your baby home. Set up baby gates to block off portions of the house and to define boundaries.
Take time for them. Even after you bring your little one home, it’s important to make sure your pup doesn’t feel forgotten. Take time every day to have some one-on-one time with them and make them feel loved all the same.
Oversee any interaction. Dog and baby may become fast friends, but it’s still important to watch over your baby when your pup is in the room. Keeping a close eye on them will help you manage the situation should it start to feel uncomfortable.
With all this pre-baby prep, your dog is sure to transition well into the new family dynamic. Take the time for this now and you’ll have a happy little family – Fido included – in no time!