Anxious about how your furry friend will treat your little bundle of joy when he or she arrives? Here is how to prepare your dog for a new baby in the house with these top 5 tips so you can ensure that the wonderful occasion of your child’s arrival is not marred by pet-related anxiety.
Dogs and Babies
As a pet owner, you might have heard about all the wonderful stories of dogs and babies growing up together. And you would want everything to transition smoothly when your little one arrives and shares their space with their four legged sibling. Using these tried and tested tips and tricks, let’s see how to prepare your dog for a new baby in the house! Or if you have a new pup, you would also want to train your little pup with soft training treats.
Tip # 1: Get them used to a new routine
A baby will definitely bring about big changes to your family’s routine and this includes your pet too. Therefore, try to foresee these changes ahead of the baby’s arrival and let your dog get used to the new routine, which might mean shorter walks and shorter petting time. Dogs are creatures of habit and helping your dog get used to the new routine much ahead of your baby’s arrival will make sure to not throw them off-guard and also give them the necessary settling time before the transition. During these transitions, some pets may get a little anxious considering all the new changes. It’s advised to learn how to tackle different kinds of anxieties your pet may face and be better prepared to pick up on their behavioural cues.
Tip # 2: Introduce your dog to some baby stuff
The best way to familiarize your pet with your baby’s arrival is to introduce them to all the baby stuff. For example, you can let your pet in when you are arranging your baby’s nursery and allow them to sniff and take in all the new scents of the space. You can bring home some linen or a clothing piece that your new baby has used in the hospital and give your pet a good sniff. You might also want to take the dog for a walk along with the baby’s stroller to give them a little preview. It will give you that much-needed practice to navigate between the two and will help the dog get used to this new addition during their precious walks.
Tip # 3: Train your pet to follow cues
Train the dog to follow basic cues like sit, stay, wait, release or go, etc... A dog that promptly follows these cues will be a lot more obedient when you are handling a baby and can also help you set clear boundaries when they are around the nursery. You can use bite-sized treats to train them and pick up your cues faster.
Tip # 4: Introducing your dog to the new baby
When you are introducing a dog to the new baby, you should exhibit the right verbal cues and body language and display a calm demeanour. Dogs can be really sharp at picking up your emotional state therefore keep that anxiety at check and take deep calming breaths just before your dog meets you child. When the dog knows you are in control, they will be able to reflect the same to you and introducing your dog to the new baby will be a lot less daunting.
Even before introducing your dog to the baby, it is a great idea for you to walk in alone and let your pet sniff the baby scent on you. You can then bring the baby in and signal the dog to come over and meet the new child. This way, they will be more prepared for the meeting without being overwhelmed.
Tip # 5: Keep those yummy treats handy
It’s a lot easier to train dogs when you have training treats handy. They are more eager to learn and will pick up your cues with a lot more enthusiasm when you reward them for their good behaviour. You will want to learn how to use dog training treats for rewards before you begin the training.
These are some ways in which you can ensure your dog has a smooth transition when your baby arrives. By picking up the right training and training treats you can surely accomplish this feat and teach your pet to love your new born child.
But do remember that you will have to go that extra mile and train them a couple of months before your little one comes along. Patience is key! Dogs and babies make great companions and will be well worth the effort at the end of it all.