You’ve read the books. You’ve made the lists. You’ve purchased the gear. Preparing for a new baby is an exciting time, but it’s also a lot of work—and it might cause some confusion for your dog. A new baby will unquestionably come with imminent changes, but there are a few steps you can take to make introducing your dog to your new baby a little easier.
Introducing Your Dog to Your Baby
Dogs are creatures of habit, so once routines start to change, your fur baby will start to notice. This is actually a great time to start implementing changes to your dog’s routine to get her used to a new schedule before your baby arrives. Here are a few tips you can follow before and after your delivery.
Two Weeks Before Your Baby’s Arrival
Your due date is fast approaching, and you’re probably starting to experience the pre-delivery jitters. The thing is, your dog can pick up on your emotions. According to recent research, studies have shown that dogs can recognize different emotions just by looking at their human’s facial expressions. So if you’re feeling anxious, stressed, and downright panicky, your dog may start acting out.
This is a great time to give your dog extra cuddles and attention. While you’re at it, you can start meal prepping your dog’s food into his correctly portioned servings for your designated dog sitter. Make sure all important information is written down in an easily accessible notepad.
The Day You Bring Your Baby Home
Here come the wiggles! Your dog missed you a lot, but what he doesn’t realize is that you are carrying precious cargo. Make sure you have your partner hold your baby while you greet your other “baby.” Wait until your dog has calmed down before letting your pooch sniff his new sibling.
Again, dogs read emotions, and now there is a tiny human in the mix of things. Let him get a feel for the new member of the family and reward him with a treat for being so kind and careful with the baby.
The Day After You Bring Your Baby Home…
…and the day after that, and so forth.
Yes, it will take some time for your dog to realize that this will be the new normal. And that’s okay. Your dog’s world has changed significantly, so don’t be surprised if it takes some time for your dog to get accustomed to its new life. Make sure you involve your dog in all baby-related activities and remember to separate the dog’s toys from your baby’s toys. Eventually, both of your babies will become the best of friends.
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