Dogs are part of the family and are very intuitive to change, especially when it comes to the monumental event of pregnancy. So, how can we help our dogs to cope with this massive change?
Here are some tips for helping your dog to accept a new baby into the household and they need to be implemented well before the baby arrives.
Focus on Leadership
You have nine months to work through any issues you may have with your pet and to get rid of those unwanted habits. You want to establish yourself as the ‘top dog’ and f you are finding this a bit tricky, then hire a professional to work with you and your pooch.
Be aware of how you feel
A pregnancy will affect the entire household – so when you feel excited, anxious or worried, your dog will mirror your emotions.
Train your dog to understand that the nursery is off-limits unless you have given them permission to enter. Eventually, you can allow your dog to sniff around and explore certain things in the room with your say so. Then decide when your dog needs to leave and repeat this activity often before the arrival of the baby.
This tells your dog that this room belongs to its pack leader and must be respected at all times.
Take your dog on a really long walk so they are tired when they return home. Only when allow your dog back into your home when they are calm. Upon entering, they should be able to smell the new scent. Allow your dog to sniff your new baby at a safe distance at the first meeting. Then you can eventually allow them to get closer and closer- it will reinforce your dog to realise that your baby is another pack leader.
Watch your baby
Once your baby starts to explore, you need to supervise the interactions between the two as you can teach your baby some boundaries – no pulling on the tail.
Try not to forget your dog
You don’t have to lavish your pooch with affection, just maintain their routine, as this will make them feel secure with the new family member.
It may not work
Unfortunately, it will not always work despite professional training and following the above tips and ultimately the safety of your child must always come first. If you do not feel 100% confident leaving your dog around your baby then you may have to find them a home that is more suited to them.
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