Preparing Your Dog For a Baby

Shelley Wenger
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Many couples buy a puppy as a way to prepare for parenthood. They get married, buy (or rent) a home, and start to settle down with a young puppy. He or she is their baby, until the moment that they decide that they want one of their own babies.

No matter how much you don’t think that you will treat your dog any differently when you have your own baby, the truth is that there will be a big shift in the family. Your dog will know that something is changing. It can really be hard on a dog, who has had all of your attention for his or her whole life.

Because of this, it is important that you take time to get him ready, before you bring home your new baby. You need to get your dog prepared for all of the changes coming his or her way. If you want the transition to go as smoothly as possible, you need to find a way to get your dog ready!
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Here are a few tips to prepare your dog for a new baby.

Start right away. You need to start preparing your dog as soon as possible. Involve him or her as much as you feel comfortable. Don’t keep your dog shut out of the nursery. Instead, allow him or her to sniff around and get comfortable with all of the changes. Don’t be afraid to let him or her smell things and investigate as you put things away.

Start some extra training now. No matter how well-behaved your dog is, you are going to need to do some more training in the weeks and months to come. You are not going to want your dog to jump on your lap while you are holding the baby. For that reason, you are going to need to come up with a signal to let your dog know that he is able to get up beside you (or on your lap). You may also need to work on teaching him or her that sitting beside you is just as nice as being in your lap.

You also need to work on how he or she behaves when you are walking. There is no way that you are going to want to trip over your dog when you are carrying the baby. Your dog needs to learn how to walk calmly beside you, instead of being in front of you.

Get help. As you become more pregnant, you won’t be able to do as much with your dog. Long walks and playing ball might be too much for you. For this reason, you may want to get some help. You might want to hire a pet sitter to come in and take your dog for walks on a regular basis. This can continue after the baby is born, so that your dog doesn’t feel neglected.

At this time, you also need to think about what you are going to do with your dog when you are in the hospital. Can a relative take him or her for a few days? Can your pet sitter come in a few extra times a day so that your dog can stay at home, even when you are in the hospital?
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You should start preparing your dog for a baby as soon as you find out you are pregnant. It is going to be a change for the whole house, not just you and your spouse. Let your dog in the nursery as you prepare.

You will also want to work on some training. Your dog will have to learn when it is alright to sit in your lap. You also don’t want to trip over your dog when the baby is in your arms. Don’t be afraid to get some help with him or her, even during your pregnancy. A dog walker may be able to give him or her extra attention, during the pregnancy, while you are in the hospital, and when you are a new parent preoccupied with your baby.

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Shelley is a small town farm mom of two boys. She is a veterinary technician, so she is proud to write about all kinds of animals and their care. She also loves to write about writing, running a business, working from home, and much more.

Glenville, PA

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