Welcome back to our series! This is actually the first week of the series and I wanted to talk something I was so worried about during my first pregnancy. I was so worried that my dog would be jealous ofour newest little one and attack her or act out in another way. He did have a few little adjustments that needed to be made once she came home, but he never hurt her and was a very caring big brother from the start. I wrote a post back in July about our full introducing your new baby to your dog story, but here are some key points that can help you prepare your furbaby for the change. Please note that I am NOT an animal trainer and your results may vary, this is just what worked for us.
1. Play videos of babies crying. We all know that dogs ears are sensitive to loud noises. And a babies cry can be ear piercing, especially to smaller dogs. Their first reaction may to bark when they hear it and this can cause your little one to cry even more, creating an unnecessary cycle of crying & calming that could have been unavoidable. I found a ton a of videos on YouTube and played multiple nightly (since I worked during the day) for my Bichon. And when we brought SweetPea home, he didn't cry, but alerted me she was crying by running to her. It was very sweet and this is the same method I am going to use this time around.
2. Bring blanket for the dog to smell. My in-laws brought a blanket for our dog to smell that had her scent on it. It may seem silly, but this way your dog can get the baby's scent before hand, you can kind of gauge your dog's reaction to it, they become familiar with it, and they won't jump on the baby to try and sniff them when you first arrive home.
3. Main caregiver needs to introduce them. My dog considers me his "pet", as I am the one who feeds him, bathes him, disciplines him, and everything that goes along with taking care of a dog. So when it came time for SweetPea and my dog to meet, I wanted to be the one to introduce them. As you can see from the picture above, he took to her very well - as long as he had a spot by mommy too. I just went towards him slow with her. I made sure to let him sniff her very slowly, so he could get a feel of er. I think he was more excited that we were home after spending 2 nights away.
4. Know Your Dog. We have a very mild mannered dog. But he is still a wild animal, even though he is trained. When he is at home, in his environment, he is very mellow for the most part. So if you have a hyper dog, you may find that you have more issues bringing a new little one home. I suggest talking to a trainer and seeing what you can do well BEFORE you bring your baby home.
5. Set Boundaries. Your dog needs to learn that although they are still a big part of your life, they aren't "top dog" anymore. How I showed my dog that he needed to respect the baby was by making sure that he didn't go into her nursery, unless myself or my husband were in there with him. I started doing this before my daughter was born.
6. Make Time for Your Furbaby. It can be hard to juggle everything that comes with a newborn. But it is very important that you still make time for your dog. Go for walks, even if baby is in tow too, your dog will still feel like you are spending time with them. Find ways to make sure your dog still knows that you love them too.
Below is a linky to share your baby posts. Please feel free to play along! You can view the full list of other posts coming your way, HERE.
Do you have any tips for introducing your new baby and furbaby?
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