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Introducing Dogs to Baby: For many couples, a Dog is their first “baby.” And it’s likely that your dog is well aware of it! Your dog will still be a treasured member of the family when your son or daughter arrives, but your habits may alter, which may confuse your furry friend.
According to Victoria Stilwell, dog trainer and host of Animal Planet’s It’s Me or the Dog, dogs, like infants, want predictability, and “a newborn profoundly changes not only your life but your dog’s as well.”
Soon, he’ll have to share your love with a needy baby, and he won’t understand why his long walks are getting shorter.
Don’t wait until the baby arrives to help your dog adjust to his new family.”Initiate modifications while you’re pregnant to get him adjusted to a new schedule,” Stilwell suggests.
When you find out you’re expecting..
If your dog hasn’t already, it’s time to enroll him in a basic obedience class. When you’re eight months pregnant or holding a baby in your arms, seemingly innocuous behavior like jumping up to greet you at the door can become a concern. This is something that an instructor can help with.
Many dogs have never been around children before. Little people do things that adults do not, such as scream, make fast movements, and get in the faces of dogs. Stilwell says that you should take your pet to the park to see how he acts around babies.
Whether all goes well or not, ask parent friends if you can walk alongside them with their child in a stroller—or even beside them if all goes well. These approaches will help your dog become accustomed to seeing and hearing children.
Three months before your due date, Do the following:
Be proactive in preparing your dog for his upcoming “sibling.” Purchase a doll and treat it as if it were your child, despite the fact that it may appear insane. Carry it about the house, coo at it, and put it in your baby carrier. After the bassinet, crib, and swing have been put up, allow the doll to “use” them.
Betsy Saul, cofounder of PetFinder.com, an online pet-search service, adds, “You want the dog to become accustomed to these toys now, not when your infant is in them.”
Allow your dog to investigate things the way he knows how best: by sniffing. “And introduce him to baby lotion and powder scents,” Saul continues.
While pushing your future baby’s wheels, practice strolling your dog.”Your neighbors may be perplexed,” Saul says, “but this will help your dog become accustomed to the stroller.”
Ensure that the leash does not get twisted in the stroller’s handle. If your dog sees a squirrel or another dog, he may jerk the leash, which is dangerous when a baby is in the pram!
It’s no longer true that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. Stilwell says that the “back” command is an important way to teach your dog about personal space.
Say “back” and shuffle towards your dog with your hand outstretched, standing directly in front of him. He’ll naturally back up, and you can praise him, pat him on the head, or give him a small cookie.
Practice this cue over the next three months, progressively reducing your forward movement until you only need to lift your hand and say “back.”
If you are consistent, your dog will ultimately back up on his own, leaving Baby to enjoy your lap.
One month prior to the delivery:
When you travel to the hospital to give birth, you’ll be gone for a few days. Do you have someone in mind to walk and feed your dog?
“Make a list of sitters or close friends who know and like your pet,” Saul suggests. If you have to call at 3 a.m. to urge her to take your dog out later, enlist someone you can trust. Have a backup plan in place as well.
Do you have any concerns about balancing a baby with a pet in the early days? You might want to consider enrolling your dog in “doggie daycare” right now.
Stilwell says that a good center will have at least two staff members for every ten dogs. This is to keep bully dogs from attacking other dogs.
Two weeks before your due date, Do the following:
Unless you’ve scheduled a cesarean section or induction, the delivery date is up in the air, so make sure your dog’s ducks are in a row.
Divide his food into individual servings, keep the leash visible, and write down vital phone numbers for the sitter (such as the vet’s). If you need to get to the hospital quickly, your dog’s caregiver will be able to locate everything quickly.
As the days go on, you’ll most likely be experiencing a range of emotions (excited, nervous, frantic), and your pet, knowing your feelings, may react.
If you’re feeling active, go for a walk or cuddle with him on the couch. TLC will help you feel more relaxed and prepared for the upcoming life shift while also calming your dog.
Do the following when you’re in the hospital:
Your partner, a family member, or a friend should call the dog sitter to check that she entered the house when your baby arrived and you’re recovering from childbirth.
Saul suggests allowing Daddy or Grandma to take one of your baby’s first bodysuits or blankets home with them later so your dog can become used to your child’s fragrance. Your dog will recognize and accept the strange new smell by the time Baby arrives.
“There’s a big difference between an initial whiff and a friendly recheck,” Saul explained.
When you get back home, expect a barrage of licks! Your dog will be overjoyed to see you again.
When you walk into your house..
Let your husband hold the baby,” Stilwell advised.
“Greet the dog first, because he’s been missing you and will most likely greet you enthusiastically.” Sit down with your kid after he’s relaxed and allow your dog to smell him to get to know him. “
During the first few times you nurse or give your infant a bottle, ask your spouse or mother to offer your pet a handful of small, special treats, such as chicken nibbles.
“Dogs perceive nursing as personal,” Saul explained. “If they learn that being calm is rewarded, they’ll link feedings with good times.”
In the midst of all the demands of a baby, don’t forget that exercise is your puppy’s happy pill. If he doesn’t get enough, he’ll find a way to spend it, even if it means going through the garbage!
Every day, take your dog for a long walk with your companion (or a visitor). It will allow you to spend quality time with your youngster while also helping Fido relax. He can snuggle up for a nap as soon as he gets home!
Introducing Dogs and Babies | How can you assist them?
Your dog is probably bewildered as to why his routine at home has changed. As a result of the extra stimulus, he may get into more trouble than usual.
“Rather than scolding him and saying ‘no, no, no,’ all the time, teach him another alternative,” Stilwell advises. Redirect his actions toward something that will bring him joy.”( Is he snatching up well-wishers? Assist him in remembering that he now has a chew toy.
Becker recommends involving your dog in baby-related activities. Allow him to sit next to you while you change a diaper and talk to both of your “babies.”
You’ll pay attention to Bowzer while helping Baby improve her language skills. Your baby will grow up to be your dog’s favorite playmate and lifetime buddy, rather than the stranger he is frightened of.
Both your furry and non-furry children will be able to live happily ever after in the end. Try these peace-keeping strategies from Heidi Ganahl and Dacia Henshaw of Camp Bow Wow in Boulder, Colorado.
- Take yourself out of the situation. To keep your dog out of certain places, install pet-safety gates. This allows the baby to practice rolling and crawling in peace.
- Create a Toy Stockpile If your dog has his own possessions, he will be less inclined to gnaw on any cute baby toys you receive as gifts.
- Fighting over food should be avoided at all costs. Keep your dog’s dishes on the counter when it’s not lunchtime. Your child can make a messy mess of sloshed water (creating a drowning risk) or sample the kibble when she is mobile (a choking hazard). Furthermore, when it comes to chow, some dogs get territorial.
- Gentleness is a virtue you should instill in your child. As she explores with her hands, your toddler may grab Fido’s fur. Show her how to pet a dog correctly. She’ll imitate Mommy, which your dog will like.
- Keep an eye on things at all times. Never, ever, ever leave your child alone with a pet. An infant’s squealing or a quick maneuver could upset him suddenly. Keep an eye out for pacing or unusual eye contact, which could indicate that your dog is nervous about the baby.
Credit: Daily Facts
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