Four steps to help get your dog ready for the arrival of a new baby.
Introducing your new baby to your fur baby can be scary, especially for first-time parents. Bringing a baby into your home causes a lot of changes for you and also your pets. Both your schedule and your dog’s routine will be disrupted. Unfortunately, your dog will likely be getting less attention which may take the dog some adjustment time to get used to. Follow these four steps to help your dog get ready for a new baby.
Step 1: Evaluate and Train Your Dog
Has your dog ever been around children before? Is your dog comfortable around children? Is your dog respectful? Do they have obedience training? Does your dog have any questionable or aggressive behaviors? Evaluate your dog by starting with these questions.
You will need to concentrate on training before the baby is due to arrive. It is best to start the training as early as possible to give your dog time to learn and practice their new skills. General obedience training will be necessary. Mastering the skills of sit, stay, down, and off is essential. Leash training will also be needed if you plan to take both the dog and baby for walks. If you don’t think your dog has mastered these skills or is uncomfortable with children you should get professional dog training help. Find a reputable dog trainer in your area to work with.
Step 2: Prepare Your Dog for Routine Changes
Your dog’s routine is going to be disrupted. It is best to get them used to routine changes before your baby arrives home. The dog needs to learn to be flexible with its feeding, exercise, and sleeping routine. Start making changes to your dog’s routine so disruptions, when the baby arrives, don’t bother them so much.
Step 3: Teach Your Dog the New Rules
If you want to set new rules for the dog such as staying off the couch or staying out of the baby’s room then teach them these rules before the baby arrives. Teaching them these rules beforehand will lessen any frustration or resentment for you and the dog.
Step 4: Introduce Your Dog to Baby Life
Get your dog used to baby life by introducing them to baby sounds, smells, and sights. Show your dog baby supplies such as toys, strollers, and swings. Play videos of babies crying or making noises so your dog can get used to hearing them. It may be a very good idea to practice with a lifelike doll and pretend to care for the doll like you would a baby. Feed, carry, and rock the baby doll. This is a good method to test your dog and see how it may react to a baby.
If your dog does not do well with preparing for the baby, or training, or has a history of aggressive behavior then you will have to consider giving your dog to a loved one to care for. Even though you love your dog, you should never put your child’s safety at risk for a dog. Consult with a professional dog trainer if your dog has any questionable or aggressive behavior.
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