Preparing Your Dog For Baby’s Arrival
Up until now, your dog was not just a family member, he was also sort of like, well, your baby. He had been getting all the attention. Your phone was loaded with photos of him! Now there is a huge threat: a baby! While he might not be aware just yet, now is the time to begin preparing little Tito for baby’s arrival. Make this an easy and smooth experience for the whole family, including your four-legged boy with these easy tips.
Take your time to introduce him
Take your time to very slowly introduce new baby. As Cesar Millan’s advises, you might want to bring an item that contains your baby’s scent, such as a burp cloth from the hospital before bringing home the baby. Challenge the dog to sniff from a distance, while you are holding the item. By doing so, you are communicating to your dog that the item is yours and then giving permission for the dog to sniff. This helps start the process of creating respect for the baby.
Once and if you feel comfortable, allow dog to smell baby’s carrier, playpen, and so on. Do this every day, once or twice per day, and make sure to keep at it for at least for the first month after baby’s arrival.
Get him to “feel” baby through you
There are tricks to get the dog used to the way a baby smells or feels. For example, you can wash your hair with same shampoo you intend to use for baby. The same applies to wipes and lotions. Play sounds that depict a baby crying or making baby noises, so your dog used to them.
Establish Clear Boundaries
Establish boundaries around the nursery. At the very beginning, nursery should be off-limits. Condition your dog to understand that there is an invisible barrier that he may not cross without your permission. Eventually, you can allow your dog to explore and sniff certain things in the room with your supervision. Then you decide when he needs to leave. Repeat this activity a few times before the baby arrives. This will let your dog know that this room belongs to his leader (you) and must be respected at all times.
A dog does not need toys or special attention to feel important; you simply need to maintain the routine, providing daily walks and consistent leadership. This will help your dog feel secure and allow him to relax about the new addition to the family.