So you’ve got a baby on the way. Congratulations! Introducing a new bundle of joy into your family is a precious moment in life. One that should be warm, fuzzy and stress-free.
While most well-treated dogs will have no problems being introduced to a new baby, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Here are some simple ways you can prepare your dog for the arrival of their new sibling.
1. Slowly introduce them to your changing routine
One of the biggest impacts on your dog will be the inevitable change of routine that will take place. If your dog is used to you taking them for walks or a play in the park every day, and your new lifestyle suddenly no longer allows this, they will be left feeling confused and neglected.
Solution: Start mixing up your dog’s routine early on in the pregnancy. Have a friend or family member take them for a walk once a week to show that you’re not the only one who can do so. Taking them to a park where there are lots of children or babies around is also a good idea, to test their reactions.
As hard as it may be with so much to think about and do for your new bub, remember to never stop showing your dog you care.
2. Give them some basic training
Teaching your dog the skills they need to safely interact with a baby is another important step. While they might not have an aggressive bone in their body, if they’ve never had any obedience training before, they might not know their limits and could accidentally play a little too roughly.
Solution: Signing your dog up for a tailored dog training class will help prepare them and ensure their behaviour is at a level you’re comfortable enough with to introduce to your newborn.
3. Introduce their scent, first
Dogs have an incredibly sensitive sense of smell, which heavily impacts the way they behave. Bringing your new baby home is going to overwhelm your dog with new smells (as well as sights and sounds). Depending on how many babies or young children they’ve been exposed to in the past, these new smells might upset your dog and potentially cause them to react negatively.
Solution: Have someone take a piece of clothing or a blanket that’s been with your baby in the hospital home before mum and bub are released. Showing this to your dog will help prepare them (and their nose) for the incoming whirlwind of scents.
4. Establish some boundaries for the nursery
New parents tend to develop superhuman abilities and will often not let their baby slip from under their watchful eye for longer than a second. However, you do have to sleep at some point. If you’ve prepared your dog for the new baby and established some clear boundaries for the nursery, you should have no worries relaxing.
Solution: If you’re worried, start by making your nursery completely off-limits to your dog, keeping the door closed, so they know they are not allowed in there. Slowly introduce them into the room by allowing them to come in and sniff around while you’re in there. Repeat this activity a few times to ensure your dog knows there are boundaries set and that the nursery is a quiet space.
5. Bring your pet to us
Don’t have the time or energy to watch a dog and a baby during those tough first few weeks? Bring your pet into Samford Pet Resort for a mini holiday while you take the time you need to settle into your new routine. We promise you’ll enjoy having the extra space and time you need to bond with your baby, as well as taking some of the extra responsibilities off your shoulders. Your dog will have an awesome time socialising with other guests and playing around in our play yards too!
Give us a call on (07) 3289 1600 or send us an online enquiry today to find out how we can help you enjoy this precious and exciting time with your new bub.
Live over on the north side? Check out our sister company, Northshore Pet Resort for the same great service and assistance.