We are getting a new human!
Expecting a baby is always an exciting period in a family’s life. Not just the parents need to be prepared, but the dogs as well.
The parents should start introducing what the dog will expect when the baby arrives.
Before the baby arrives, you need to ensure your dog has the following:
Good obedience manners – no leash pulling, good recall, listening to the commands
Good handling manners – the dog let you touch the body and stay calm – it’s essential to teach a baby at an early age to be gentle with the dog and give free space for the dog – make a quiet place for your dog where he/she could be alone, and baby can’t go there later
Make familiar with baby sounds – for this case, you can use Youtube videos to introduce, for example, baby crying for your dog – start first at a low level, treat your dog or play with him/her during the video and then you can begin to increase the volume slowly.
Show baby stuff for your dog (pushchair, cot, highchair…etc.)
Start to walk your dog with the pram before the baby arrives so it won’t be new for your dog, and he/she could learn manners and how he/she needs to walk nicely next to the pram.
Never tie the leash to the pram because that could be dangerous if your dog lunges/runs unexpectedly.
After the baby arrives:
Bring a cloth home with the baby’s smell from the hospital and show your dog.
Let the dog sniff the baby when you arrive home with him/her – take your dog for a walk to a bit tired out before showing the baby; that can reduce excitement.
Ensure you still give enough attention to your dog.
Let your dog be around the baby often – if you always close your dog out of the room where you are with the baby/not let the dog be around the baby, your dog feels the baby is a “bad thing”.
Pick up the unused dog toys and baby toys because those are similar materials, so they can pick up each other toys – use leave it command for your dog if he/she wants to pick up baby’s toys and give the dog toy instead.
Never leave a child alone with a dog; even the friendliest dog could cause injury to a child accidentally because of many occasions.
Most importantly, enjoy your life as a family with your dog!