When expecting a baby, it’s normal to put your family and home through different preparations. However, if you’re also a dog owner, you must consider how they will react to the tiny new person in your living space.
If you want to ensure that your dog and your baby get along and create a solid and loving bond, you should invest some time and effort into making this happen. If you’re not completely clear on how to do this, here are some excellent tips to help form a precious friendship between your baby and your dog.
When your pet is used to having you all to themselves, introducing your baby should start even before you give birth. Allowing your dog to spend some time around the furniture and other things you’ve bought for your newborn can allow them to get used to the smells and the new arrangement around your home. While this may sound silly initially, you should also try carrying a doll around, giving it your full attention, and playing with the sounds of babies crying to your dog. As you do this, give your dog a treat from time to time so that they associate your behaviour, the sounds and the smells with something positive. That way, they won’t be that shocked and confused once the baby arrives.
Keep Them Healthy
Although you always keep your pet healthy and probably notice the slightest change in them, it’s still crucial that you take them to their vet to ensure they’re healthy before they come into contact with your infant. In countries like Australia, where there’s a dog in about 40% of households, this is something that people take extremely seriously. This is why they’ll always seek a reliable vet in Sydney so that they know their dog has received all of their vaccinations and get a professional consult, special diagnostics or preventative health care. In addition, if you haven’t microchipped your dog, now’s the best time to do it. A dog that’s not healthy won’t behave the way they usually do, and this is something you want to deal with before your baby gets home so that the two can interact without you having to worry.
Train Your Dog
You might think your dog is well trained, but if you’ve experienced issues such as your pet pulling on the lead too fiercely or refusing to come to you every time you call them, you need to reassess the current situation. Namely, this may not trouble you too much right now, and it may not even seem like a problem, but it might become one when you’re pushing a stroller or carrying your new baby. Again, this requires practice, so take that stroller with you while walking your dog, regardless of the fact your baby hasn’t been born yet. Once your cherub is here, you’ll be thankful that your dog knows their limits and they react instantly to your commands. If you need help, contact licensed dog trainers in your area and ask for assistance or advice. You’ll want a well-behaved dog around your child, so do what’s necessary to make this happen.
Give Your Dog Space
An infant won’t truly invade your dog’s personal space, as they can’t move on their own. Still, once your baby starts crawling and moving around your home, your dog must have a designated place that can reach easily and move away from the infant following them. Even though the baby wants to play with your dog, it doesn’t mean that the dog always wants the same thing. By putting their bed out of the baby’s reach, like on the top of the stairs or in a separate room, you’ll provide your dog with a calm and safe space they know they can go to when they feel overwhelmed. No matter how benevolent your pet is, if they feel threatened or annoyed, they may react unexpectedly, which you can easily prevent.
The experience of raising your child and your pet can be a great one, and you can expect plenty of laughter and pure joy around your home, but only if you do whatever’s in your power to create and strengthen the bond between the two.