Dogs thrive on predictability, which means that adjusting to a new baby can be difficult. A dog who is used to having your undivided attention is naturally going to feel slighted when he’s competing with the needs of a demanding infant.
To help your pet adjust to the new addition to your family, you’ll want to start planning for baby’s arrival as soon as possible. If your dog hasn’t already been to a basic obedience class, make plans to complete a course as soon as you find out you’re expecting. Your instructor can help you correct behavior that could pose a safety hazard once your baby arrives, such as jumping up to greet you at the door.
Help your dog become used to the sight and sound of children by taking him to a park where children often play or to visit close friends with infants, toddlers, or preschoolers.
In your third trimester, get a life size doll and treat it like an infant. Set up your baby’s crib, bassinet, and swing for the doll to use. Sing to the doll and carry it around your home like you would a real baby. The goal is to get your dog gradually acclimated to the change in routine that an infant will bring.
If you’re the one who will be walking the dog after baby arrives, practice walking while pushing your baby’s stroller. Remember not to loop the leash on the stroller handle, since this could injure your baby if your dog sees a squirrel and takes off running.
After your baby is born, have someone bring home an outfit or two so your dog can get accustomed to the new baby’s scent before you return from the hospital. Stock up on tasty treats to reward your dog for being calm and tranquil while you’re nursing or giving baby a bottle.
Keep in mind that the normal squeals and cries of an infant can be distressing for a dog, so watch closely for pacing or unusual eye contact that could indicate your dog needs to be taken out of the room.
Reward Your Pooch with a Tasty Treat
Green Bark Gummies chia-based dog treats are a nutritious and delicious way to reward your dog for being on his best behavior around your new baby. These quality dog treats are available in formulas for dogs that are both under 30 pounds (Skin & Coat and Healthy Digestion) and over 30 pounds (Hip & Joint and Skin & Coat varieties).