You wouldn’t believe just how in tune with us our dogs are. As you’ve been pregnant for 9 months or so, he probably already knows that something around the home is changing. However, just because he’s picked up something new in the air, doesn’t mean he understands what’s going on. You need to prepare your dog for the arrival, and introduce your new arrival to him properly to help him come to terms with the change. Here’s a guide to safely introducing your dog to your new baby:
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Focus on Leadership
The 9 months in which you are pregnant is more than enough time to smooth out any naughty behaviour and establish yourself as the pack leader. It might take some hard work, but you’ll be glad you did it when the baby comes.
Be Aware of Your Own Energy
A pregnancy will affect the whole household. Your dog will mirror your emotions, whether you feel worried, anxious, or excited so beware of your own energy.
Bring Your Baby’s Scent
Before bringing home the baby, bring home an item from the hospital with the baby’s scent on. This is the exercise where you need to set clear boundaries. To create respect for the baby, you need to get your dog to sniff the item from a distance rather than close up. This sends a message that the item belongs to you and the dog needs to be careful.
At first, you shouldn’t let your dog inside the nursery at all. Then, you can let the dog in to explore and sniff with your supervision. You must always decide when it’s time for the dog to leave the room. You should do this a couple of times before the baby comes.
Keep the Introduction Controlled
Start off by draining your dogs energy by taking him on a very long walk. Before you come back, make sure you dog is calm and submissive. Your dog will know the second they enter the room that there’s a new scent in the house. Whoever is holding the baby needs to be totally calm. Don’t bring the baby too close during this first meeting. You need to teach the dog to treat your baby as another pack leader.
Teach Your Baby
As your baby grows and gets more curious, you should always supervise interaction between them and the dog. You don’t want your child to accidentally aggravate the dog, for example by touching his wuffitmix dog food, so be careful and teach your baby to be nice to the dog.
Don’t Forget About the Dog
Your dog needs to have their usual routine to feel secure. You need to be a consistent leader and take them for daily walks as normal, so they feel safe – you don’t necessarily need toys or to give them special attention!
Your baby’s safety should always come first, and if at any point you feel uneasy about the dog around your baby, you may need to consider finding the dog a new home as an option. Do your best to maintain position as pack leader and this shouldn’t have to happen.