If you have a new baby coming home soon, there are lots of exciting changes happening in your household. Some of them can be a little nerve-wracking, too – introducing a new baby into a home where your pet has always been number one.
Here are 5 tips to prepare for keeping your four-legged baby ready for your new one:
1. Brush up on training: Dogs, especially, are sensitive to changes in our bodies and in our behaviors. This is a good time to brush up on your dog’s overall obedience training and practice commands from any position since you’ll likely be sitting down with baby a lot. Your dog may be excited, nervous or confused when a new baby is introduced, so it will help your pooch to have familiar commands to perform – rather than jumping, barking or being scolded. You can walk your dog or have it walked for you to get out some of this nervous energy.
2. Get your dog used to not receiving as much attention: This one can be particularly hard for most owners, but begin allowing your dog to eat, play, etc in his/her own space. This helps your dog get used to not being the center of attention all of the time.
3. Hire a dog walker or dog sitter: By hiring a reputable dog walker to help out several times a week, this not only gives the new parent’s a break, but it gives the dog exercise, special attention and relieves the pet’s stress. You can also plan to hire a pet sitter while the new parents are staying at the hospital for a few days.
4. Get your dog used to walking with baby strollers by giving them treats every time they come close to or walk next to the stroller.
5. Slowly introduce your dog to your new bundle: Before meeting the baby, have your partner or a family member bring a baby blanket from the hospital with the baby’s smell on it so that your pet can get used to the smell. As you’re doing this, you can also provide treats to build a positive association.
With extra thoughtfulness and care, your (now bigger) family will be a lot happier!
Thanks for reading,
Top Tails Dog Walking