1. The safety of your newborn
As new parents we try to do everything right. From researching the best car seats, strollers and even baby shampoo!
Training your dog for the upcoming changes that are about to occur should also be on the checklist.
In recent years the number of child dog bites has risen but you can keep your baby safe by learning the warning signs to watch for when your dog is around your baby.
2. To help reduce as much stress as possible
Up until your baby arrives, your dog is probably used to being your “furry baby!”
You don’t want them to have unnecessary stress once your baby arrives.
Including your pup and giving them new “jobs” will help them to adjust to the new routine.
Make sure they are around while you are bringing in the new baby equipment, show them that they swing, vibrate and sing!
We don’t want the dog to associate the baby with all the changes, so start this right away.
3. Dogs are creatures of habit!
Dogs are used to routines and once your baby arrives their normal day to day routines will change drastically.
Start preparing your dog for these changes by setting up who will board your dog during labor, who will walk/exercise your dog the first month after baby arrives, have a quiet place the dog can go during the day if you or them needs space, if you are free feeding your dog switch to schedule feeding.
Also start limiting the amount of time they spend with you because once the baby is here they will need to give you some space.
Have interactive toys you can give them and use baby gates so they can still see you but know that healthy alone time is ok.
4. Newborn screams can trigger your dogs prey drive
Most likely your dog hasn’t been exposed to the cries of a newborn.
This can be very unsettling to your pup!
Newborn cries are meant to be an alarm so the mom attends to the baby’s needs, but this can be very stressful to your dog.
In some cases, a dog can become stimulated by an infant screaming and moving.
Start desensitizing your dog with newborn cries by downloading them to your tablet and playing them randomly throughout the day.
5. We didn’t prepare for this and now we can’t handle the dog around the baby
The number 2 reason dogs are surrendered to the shelter is due to a lifestyle change including having a baby.
This can be prevented with proper training and preparation.
These dogs have been part of our families before the baby came.
What commonly happens if you don’t properly prepare them is we start isolating the dog from the baby and the family.
This creates more excitement and frustration for your dog and makes them even harder to handle.
The best scenario is having your dog experience and adapt to the newborn, crawling and walking stages.
Teach them what their job is throughout these transitions.
This will make the family bond so much more with the dog.