Tips to prepare your dog for the new baby

Excitement builds as you prepare to welcome your new baby into the world. However, your furry baby has no idea of the changes about to happen, and it is important to consider the impact on him. Preparing your dog for a new baby is crucial for a smooth transition because the baby’s arrival will bring changes to his routine and possibly his behaviour.

Consider these preparations before the baby’s arrival so that once baby is home, you can provide them with a safe, hygienic space and the respect and attention they deserve. Issues such as jealousy or possessiveness need to be pre-considered and cannot be reactive actions.

Before you bring baby home

Introducing a new baby to a household with a dog can be a big adjustment for everyone involved. If your dog has adapted well to a new puppy, adapting to a baby may be easier. The two most important things you can do to help your dog adjust to the upcoming changes are to introduce him to baby-related sounds and smells and to gradually reduce the amount of attention and affection you give him, without neglecting him.

A new baby brings many unique elements to a household, and added to that, your dog has to learn to share your attention.

Tips on introducing your dog to baby-related sounds and smells:

  1. Start by playing sounds of a baby crying, cooing or babbling to get your dog used to them. Begin by playing them at a very low volume before gradually increasing it, but never play the sounds louder than those of a real baby.
  2. Introduce your dog to baby items by letting him sniff and explore the baby blankets or toys. Use baby powder to familiarise him with the smell of a baby.
  3. Consider practising with a baby doll so your dog gets used to the size, sound and movements of a baby. Hold the doll while making baby sounds and move it to simulate the presence of a real baby.
  4. Use positive reinforcement to encourage your dog when he responds positively to the sounds, smells or movements in your exercises.
  5. Include your dog in the preparations for the baby, such as decorating the nursery.

Would you like to read the rest of this interesting article? Get the May 2023 edition of Animaltalk magazine now from retailers, or order a printed or digital copy at www.coolmags.co.za.

 

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