Spring Welcoming: Preparing Your Dog For A New Baby
No parents are completely prepared for the changes a baby brings to their lives, but we do our best to make the transition from couple to family as smooth as possible. However, the one thing we can't overlook when adjusting our lives for a baby is how the dog will handle it. If you have a pup, here are 5 tips for preparing your dog for a new baby.
Dogs are sensitive to change. When you're starting to put together baby room ideas, it's best for your dog if you put together the nursery in time for him to get familiar with the new room with new furnishings before he has to get used to a new baby. Just as dogs operate better with a schedule, they also need familiar surroundings. Having the nursery ready to go ahead of time gives him a chance to get acquainted with the new surroundings.
If your dog has the run of the house, it might be difficult to put up physical boundaries, but it is what's best for your growing family. As you prepare the house for the new baby, do a walkthrough and think about the places your baby will be and where your dog goes now. In rooms where you might let your baby play on the floor or practice tummy time, you use a pet gate to block off the door. If you put the barriers up before the baby arrives, your pup can get used to not being able to roam the house.
Audit your dog's behavior. Look at how he acts daily and whether any of his actions or reactions might affect a baby. This includes barking, jumping up, nipping or biting -- give yourself enough time to correct these behaviors before you bring your baby home.
Most of us know a dog has a strong sense of smell -- humans have about 5 million odor receptors in their noses while dogs have up to 300 million. Dogs use their noses to get to know people, their food and other dogs, so this is something you can use to familiarize your dog to your baby before they even meet. Try sprinkling your baby powder of choice in spots your dog likes, on his toys and in his bed so when he meets baby, he'll already know that smell.
Attention & Affection
It might be painful to think about, but once the baby arrives, you won't have as much time to devote to giving your dog the love and attention he's used to. You'll have to wean yourself and your dog off all that playtime and petting you're accustomed to giving him. This way, it won't feel like such a shock to your dog when you start spending your time with the new baby rather than him.