Are you expecting a baby soon? How, exciting! Well its time to get your house and dog ready for the new arrival. Here are a few tips on introducing your dog to your new bundle of joy, so your dog gets use to sharing the spotlight.
1. If you need to change house rules, change them before the baby arrives. Otherwise, your dog may associate the baby’s arrival with her sudden banishment from the couch.
2. Consider a series of obedience classes before the baby arrives, especially if your dog doesn’t know the basic commands: sit, come, stay.
3. Have your dog thoroughly checked out by a veterinarian before your baby comes home. This will give you time to deal with parasites or other problems that could pose a family health risk.
4. Let your dog get used to the sights, smells and sounds of a baby in advance. Let her sniff baby blankets and lotions, and get her used to the sounds of rattles and other baby toys.
5. Before bringing your baby home from the hospital, send home a blanket or gown that the baby has been wrapped in. This will get your dog used to the baby’s scent.
6. Let Dad or someone else carry the baby inside at the first homecoming, so that Mom is free to greet the dog with open arms. That way the dog will be less jealous of her attention to the baby.
7. Praise your dog when you’re near the baby so she will think of the child as a positive influence on her life/she gets praised more when the baby is around.
8. Reassure your dog, each time your baby cries, that this is a normal sound, and train her not to bark when she hears it. Use positive reinforcement as much as possible’a treat or a hug for doing the right thing.
9. Spend one-on-one time with your dog while the baby is napping, or during walk time (your baby can ride along in a sling or front-pack).
10. Be patient, it may take some time before your dog is really comfortable around your baby.