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A new baby’s arrival is a massive change for everyone in the family, including the four-legged fluffy friend. Newborns are heart-meltingly adorable but even then, accepting them and getting used to them takes time for families. Likewise, dogs need some time and quite a lot of advanced training to learn how to be around a baby.
You cannot expect your fur child to get all buddy-buddy with your tiny human in just one meeting. You’ll have to give your dog some heads-up before the baby comes, and even after that, you will have to acclimatize your dog with the baby gradually. Just because your furry pal is a well-trained, obedient pet doesn’t mean they’ll remain such when you show them the new addition to the family. If you wish your dog and child’s first meeting to be civil, then here’s everything that you need to know.
Believe it or not, dogs are incredibly intuitive; they can sense a change in their surroundings pretty quickly. So, when you start showing or even during your first trimester, your dog will have a slight idea that something is different. That said, you will have to gradually ease them into the actual change that’s due in a few months.
To begin that process, start with establishing boundaries. Pick a room where you wish to set up the nursery and make it a no-go area for your dog initially. You might have to come off as the bad cop, but that’ll be worth it when the baby comes.
Why do you have to establish boundaries, you ask?
Because you want your canine-companion to know that you’re the alpha and leader of the pack, which means they have to follow your commands.
At first, don’t let your fur child into the future nursery at all. Then once, they are entirely calm about staying out, let them in but only for a few minutes. Repeat the process multiple times, even when the nursey is completely ready, to familiarize your four-legged friend with the ritual.
Let your furry pal see the baby accessories from afar and if they wish to sniff around, only allow them to do so for a bit. In sum, you need to completely control your dog’s movements in the nursery.
Dogs have excellent olfactory senses, which means they can sense a new scent in an instant. Use your sidekick’s incredible ability to your advantage and drop the baby scent you plan on using when the baby comes.
Let’s say you want to use a specific lotion or powder on your newborn, start using it on yourself or just sprinkle it around a bit to let the fragrance spread. Doing so will help your dog adjust to the new scent. So that when the baby comes and gives off the same fragrance, your dog isn’t boggled.
Another way of going about this step is putting whatever baby scent you wish to use later, on an onesie or any other baby cloth. Next, flaunt the fabric in front of your fur child, not to tease them but to let them see it. However, when they reach out to sniff the garment, don’t let them do it. As previously mentioned, control your dog’s interactions/reactions with all baby-related things during the nine months of pregnancy because that’s the first phase of preparing your little fella for the new member.
When the baby finally arrives and it’s time to introduce them to the fur child, you need to plan the entire meeting. Have someone take your fur child for a long walk to drain all their energies. If your fluffy pal is too active to tire out with just one stroll, let them play around as much as they want until they are exhausted.
Once your fur baby is worn out, bring them home to let them meet the baby. Hold the baby at a distance when your sidekick returns and let them see the tiny human from some distance. But intermittently, bring the two strangers a bit closer to let your dog get a closer look.
Now that your doggo has seen the baby, repeat these distant meetings. After a while, you’ll notice that your dog knows how to behave when the baby is around.
Babies can be quite mischievous at times, especially when they see a tail at arm’s length. They love to yank tails and work up pets, though, all in jest. But they don’t know riling up a dog can be dangerous.
Therefore, you should always be present when your dog and baby are interacting. And you should also make sure that your child understands that they cannot tease the dog; instead, they should treat the furry member with affection.
Many dog parents assume that they’ll not be able to pay enough attention to their dog when they have a newborn to look after. And to make up for that guilt, they show their pooch with abundant love and affection before the baby comes. But that’s a disastrous tactic that will backfire when you will suddenly cut back on the attention after the baby is born.
Don’t spoil your fur child only to leave in the lurch later. Keep your interactions with them as they have always been; just add the training to ready them for the baby.
Many dog breeds are known for being super-friendly, but that doesn’t eliminate the possibility of them reacting unpleasantly at seeing a new tiny family member. So, just because your fur child is a happy-go-lucky dog doesn’t mean they will behave the same way when you are cradling someone else that’s not them.
Simply put, you need to train your dog to prepare them for the arrival of a new family member regardless of their breed.
Training a dog can be challenging, but the positive thing is that dogs are intelligent beings, so they learn fast. If you remain consistent with your routines, your fluffy pal will be all set to accept and love the tiny human that’s on the way. You can also hire an expert to make the process easier for yourself.
by Maria A Davidson || You can’t buy love, but you can rescue it™ .
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