Are you expecting a baby? Train your dog and get ready
A lot of people hear the words “baby” and “pet” in the same sentence and think that these are two completely incompatible beings to have in a house at the same time. Is that true? Absolutely not! Many families have had a baby when there was already a dog at home. Plenty of families have even adopted a pet soon after their baby’s arrival.
In fact, it has been shown that a dog’s protective instinct gets stronger when there is a baby around. The family dog becomes the baby’s faithful protector, even risking their own life — you’ve probably heard stories that prove this is true.
Therefore, if you are expecting a baby and you already have a pet, but you have some doubts, read on. We’ll tell you how you can prepare your dog beforehand for the arrival of the newest member of the family.
How to prepare your pet for the arrival of your baby
The main thing is to not wait to start training your dog until the last minute. Not all pets are the same. Although you can be sure that your dog will love your baby, some dogs need more time than others to adapt to the new situation.
It is best to start training your dog during pregnancy. Remember that animals have highly attuned senses and can perceive that something special is happening. In fact, it has been shown that many dogs, for example, can tell that a woman is pregnant before she herself knows.
A new place to relax
Do your part and start by providing a new place in the house for your dog to sleep. Why? Because your dog may be used to a quiet family life where he’s the only “baby” in the house.
Suddenly, the dog is plunged into an unexpectedly fast-paced environment with crying and loud noises, which could make him jealous or quite stressed. So even if your dog already has his own spot, consider providing him with a new one in a quieter place.
Put a bed, water and food in the new spot. In the first few days, you could get your dog interested in the new location by giving him treats when he uses it. So when the baby arrives, your dog will know that this is a place to relax and get away from from all the hustle and bustle.
Teach your dog to have patience
It’ll be many months before your baby is able to play with your dog. But make sure that he gets accustomed to having patience. The baby will be more rude, playful and less affectionate with him than he’s used to from you and other adults. Begin teaching patience by petting spots he doesn’t like petted, such as his legs, tail, or muzzle.
Your dog might not like it, but little by little he will get used to it. If you think it will be hard for you to do alone, ask someone to give your dog something to eat or talk to him while you’re doing it.
Hire a trainer
If you think that it will be too hard, or you don’t have time to work on training your dog in preparation for your baby, you can always opt for the services of a professional. A trainer will know how to teach your dog to be around babies and be patient with them.
The trainer will teach you how to give your dog commands that will help you keep your house safe. There are even specialized programs to teach dogs this particular skill set. Plus, the programs are not usually too expensive.
It’s important that your dog already know basic commands before the baby arrives. You also want to get your dog used to new smells that will come along with the baby. However, we’re sure that you’ll make the best decisions for all members of your family. With patience and affection, you’ll create a wonderful family dynamic.