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Your pets and a baby

Your pets and a baby

from 11 months to 1 year

It's common for a pet to face some difficulties adjusting to the newest family addition.

It is a very hectic time and a time of many changes when a baby arrives. In order to minimize stress for the dog and reduce the chance of an accident, you can make many changes and preparations ahead of time so that the transition is easier for you and the dog.

You may have heard that it's a good idea to carry around a baby doll - it may seem silly, but it gets a pet used to seeing you with a bundle in your arms or on your lap. You need to teach a dog, particularly, not to jump on you when you have the doll. If a dog doesn't respond to verbal commands, such as "sit" or "down," we suggest you start obedience training well before your baby's birth.

Be consistent with cues:

  • Socialize your dog around children in a positive and controlled environment.
  • Observe and become aware of how the dog seeks your attention.
  • Know your dog’s sensitivities. Research the breed or mixes. Does he startle with fast motion, noises etc.
  • Begin a baby schedule that includes:

  1.  Varied feeding times.
  2.  Crating or "dog zone" times
  3.  Vary exercise routines
  4.  Ignore attention seeking behavior

  • Allow your dog to become familiar with the baby equipment.
  • Teach your dog the behaviors you want around the equipment vs. what you do not want. Doing this ahead makes a world of difference!
  • Parents can use the baby carrier they plan to use with their baby and put a teddy bear in it to get the feeling of what it will be like moving with this.
  • Work with your dog while you wear this.
  • Walk your dog with an empty stroller or one with some weight to it to get a feel for this and what needs to be worked on NOW.
  • Use a CD of baby noises to introduce and create a positive experience prior to the baby’s arrival.
  • Get the baby lotion and put it on the baby carrier, car seat etc. and the teddy you carry in the sling. Bring the same lotion with you to put the same familiar scent on the baby’s clothing for the dog to be familiar with.
  • Have Dad bring home a blanket with the baby’s scent on it. Although Dad will have the scent all over him. The blanket can go in the car seat, swing etc.
  • Schedule your vet visit well ahead of time to be sure to have all meds available.
  • Familiarize your dog with the person that may care for them.
  • Plan a good and safe spot for your diapers!

Lavishing a pet with attention during your pregnancy may be well-intentioned, but it's actually not the best idea. If your pet is used to being the center of your universe, back off a bit before the baby is born. That gives your pet the opportunity to become more independent.

Make photos of your pets, upload to the App. Write how they react to your little one and what steps you've taken to make them good friends for the baby.

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