Many couples purchase a dog before they have a child. The new canine is the first step in sharing the responsibility of a life with your partner, and it can be considered as a way to test the waters before having a baby. If your furry friend is used to being the top dog in the house, then a new baby can be a bit of a shock. Routines will change, they will experience new smells and noises, and they won’t have your full attention anymore. Just like babies, predictability is something a dog thrives off. You shouldn’t wait until the baby arrives to help your dog adjust to the new family member. While you are pregnant, you should begin to initiate changes to help your faithful friend get used to the new schedule.
When the Pregnancy is Confirmed
If your dog hasn’t been to any kind of obedience classes, then you need to sign them up now. Behavior such as jumping up to greet you at the door may seem innocuous now, but it will become a major issue as the pregnancy progresses. If your dog has never been around children before, then you will need to expose him/her to tots in a safe manner, such as going to the park and letting him/her watch young children from a distance and asking mom friends if you can go for walks together while their baby is in their stroller.
6-8 Months In
You need to actively prepare your pup for the baby. You may feel weird, but carrying around a doll and setting all your baby’s stuff up will help your dog become familiar with the items and the routine. Teaching your dog how to back up is something you should consider doing, if you haven’t done so already in the obedience classes. As your due date gets closer, you need to make sure you have someone on hand to look after the dog when you’re in hospital.
2 Weeks Before
You can never be too prepared when it comes to childbirth and pet care. Unless you have been booked in for an induction or c-section, then the baby could come at any time. You should make sure you have divided your dog’s food into individual servings, have important phone numbers written down, and the leash is in a visible place for your sitter in case you get rushed in unexpectedly. If you’re too heavily pregnant to go out and stock up, then you should take a look at Lucy Pet for pet products online.
Your dog will be happy to see you, so be prepared for excitement. Once your dog has calmed down, then you should sit down with the baby and allow your dog to have a sniff to get acquainted. The first few times you feed your baby, have some treats prepared to reward your pooch for being tranquil and so they associate this intimate time with positive things.
In the midst of your newborn’s demands, don’t forget about your canine companion. If you neglect your pup, he/she will act up, which is the last thing you need during this busy time. Preparation really is key to such a big change.