From carefully attending to their every need to taking care of them like babies, for many couples, their furry little pup takes the position of their first child. The dog also gets used to the world of three - mom, dad and him. Like any other first child, it is only normal for the dog to get worried about having to share the claim to his human parents’ love with another prospect. With a little preparation during the long nine months of pregnancy, it becomes a lot easier and exciting for the dog to welcome his younger one to his beloved family.
Welcoming a little baby to your home can be an overwhelming experience for not just you but your loyal pooch too. With all the new smells, cryings, mess and hustle all the around house, your dog’s curiosity to understand what’s going on and why is he receiving less attention suddenly, only increases. With some foolproof ways you can help your dog fall in love and embrace your newborn as his own.
In the very first months of pregnancy:
You may adore all the excited jumps and nonstop barking of your hyperactive dog but it might create problem during the last stages of pregnancy or once the newborn arrives as you must maintain caution with the little one at all times. Your dog will not understand or change the way it greets you until you teach him. Train him slowly to be gentle around the to-be mom and the baby.
During the pregnancy:
Even though your smart pooch may already have sensed that something’s up, he probably cannot figure out what it means, especially if he doesn’t have any prior experience around babies. You need to adopt a few techniques to train your dog to be around babies and help them get accustomed to the new environment. Get a doll and treat it as you would treat your baby. Get him familiar with the baby food smell. Record and play the sound of baby crying around the dog so that he gets used to it.
Train your dog:
If possible, hire a dog trainer and let him train your dog to behave around a baby. It is very much important if you own a hyperactive, energetic super dog who wouldn’t stop barking or jumping around. If you are confident and own a rather well-behaved dog, then you can train your dog yourself. Teach him the basics such as sit, stay, wait at the doors, drop it etc. to help your dog learn to control his impulses, and they’ll prove useful in many situations when the baby comes.
Preparing the dog for the changes in his lifestyle:
Your dog is used to the bubble consisting of his human mom, dad and him, where he got all the undivided love and care. Now addition of one more will bring a lot of changes into the lives of all who live in the bubble, including you dog. The walk timings will reduce, his playtimes will change, feeding times may need some adjustments. You need to incorporate these changes one by one slowly during the pregnancy only so that you dog is already used to the new schedule and lifestyle.
In the last few days of pregnancy:
In the last few days of pregnancy, there will be multiple abrupt changes in all of your lives. Among all of these chaos, you will not be able to take care of your dog as you generally would. Make sure you assign someone the dog is familiar with, to care for your dog. Provide all the information about the dog, his food and timings etc to the person and ask him to be there for the dog when you will have to shift to the hospital for delivery.
Before bringing the baby home:
It is very important for your dog to get accustomed to the smell of your newborn so that the dog doesn’t consider the baby as a threat. Therefore, few hours before shifting back home with the newborn, send someone from your family or friends along with the onesie or the wrapper that has the smell of your baby. Ask that person to let your dog sniff the cloth for sometime to get used to the new smell that will be around your home.
Do not put him on a leash or simply keep him locked away outside, as this will only make him more curious and he’ll utilise every chance he gets to get close to baby without your supervision.
It is expected that once the baby comes, most of your time will be devoted to the newborn. But under no circumstances, forget your dog or ignore him for a long time. Your dog still considers you his only parent and is already nervous about all the attention the new one is getting. Let the adorable good boy come close to you and pat or give him a hug. Introduce the newborn to him slowly under your careful supervision. In no time you will observe the same dog protecting your kid as its own.