How To Prepare Your Dog For A Baby

This is a collaborative post

Having a child on the way is an incredibly exciting time; you’re expanding your family and taking on the role of being a parent. While you have time to prepare for all these major changes, your dog doesn’t have the luxury. With a new housemate appearing all of a sudden it’s important to know how to ensure your dog still feels part of the family.

In this article, we’ll take a look at how you can prepare your dog for the changes in their routine, including all of the different noises, smells and sights that the new baby will bring.

Crate train in advance

Crate training your dog has many benefits, particularly when there’s going to be a baby roaming around the place. A dog crate is your pup’s haven – somewhere they can escape to when they want to be alone and relax. It is also where you’ll have to tell your dog to go if they intentionally or unintentionally disrupt the child.

Teaching your pooch basic commands to go to their crate can be highly useful for when the baby arrives, particularly if they are overwhelming the child, and to help reinforce their bedtime routine. 

Keep their routine the same

Routine is highly important to a dog, which is why you need to try to keep their routine the same once the baby arrives, or at least somewhat similar to how it was before. However, there will likely be unforeseen circumstances where this may not be possible.

The best way to deal with any changes in routine is to introduce them slowly. For example, gradually change feeding and walking times by increments of fifteen or thirty minutes several months before the baby is due. This way, it’s going to be much more pleasant for them than suddenly switching things up.

Remember, dogs are creatures of habit, and any major alterations can lead to them becoming very stressed.

Introduce them to baby smells

Ask your family and friends if they have any baby clothes and blankets you can use to introduce your dog to baby smells. Make sure that this isn’t too overwhelming and is done so at their own pace, allowing time for them to do some investigation.

Aim to associate the presence of these items and smells with a reward, such as a treat, pet, or playtime. Additionally, you can also play baby sounds at home to get them used to new noises. This is important given the volume babies can make. Start playing the sounds at a low volume while they are doing something they enjoy and slowly increase the volume if they appear comfortable.

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