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Preparing the Family Dog for a New Baby

There are lots of things that families must do to prepare for a new baby but one thing that is often overlooked is preparing pets for the new arrival. When you bring home a new baby, pets such as dogs can become overwhelmed by all the new sights, sounds, and smells. It can be difficult for pets to adjust to having a baby in the home as it generally means changes to daily routines and less attention for your pets. To ensure that things go smoothly, it is important that you spend some time preparing your dog for the arrival of your baby. When preparing, you should focus on helping your dog adjust and teaching them the skills they will need to safely interact with your new arrival.

You should try to make a plan for preparing your pets for a new baby being in the home. Your dog will greatly benefit from any training you can provide before the baby actually arrives. You should strive to have good verbal control of your dog. Dogs can experience serious anxiety when their lifestyle and daily routines are altered. You can however gradually work to get your pet used to these changes before the baby arrives to minimize their stress. Take some time to plan out changes to your daily routine and then practice said changes. If you can predict how your schedule may change, you can slowly begin to transition your pet so they can get used to their new routine. While you can't always plan for life with a baby as sometimes things can be hectic, you can at least minimize stress and prepare your dog as much as possible for your new bundle of joy.

If dogs have not ever been around babies, you should do your best to introduce them to some of the different smells, sounds and sights that having a baby in the home will bring. This will help your dog become familiar with some of the ways that their environment will change.

There is only so much you can do to prepare prior to the arrival of the baby. Once the baby is home, you will need to take some additional steps to introduce your baby and once the baby is old enough, they will need to be taught how to safely handle the pets that live in the home. Babies and young children should be taught to handle dogs gently. It is important that they know not to tug on the dog's ears, fur, or tail. They should also be taught not to poke at the dog, and to stay away when the dog is eating their dog food. Even if you teach your kids to be gentle with the dog, there is a chance that at some point they are going to tug at or poke at the dog anyway. In this case, it may help to prepare your dog for such times, by gently poking and prodding them to gauge their reaction and ensure that your child will be safe if they do the same.

If you take the time to prepare your dog with some simple training, you will likely have a much smoother transition to your new routine once you bring home the baby. Dogs will still need some time to adjust but if steps have been taken beforehand, it can help immensely in making both your dog and your baby comfortable.

You can find more information on preparing your dog for a new baby by checking out the resources listed below.