Pets are a big part of people’s lives. The love an owner develops for a pet is strong, they become part of the family. Many people even prefer their dog’s or cat’s company over other people. So when it comes to making sure that our pets are comfortable is very important to us.
One thing that most people never think about when they get pregnant is preparing their dog for the new arrival. Our pets take time to adjust to things like we humans do. Babies come with a lot of stuff and noises. Giving your dog time to react to all the new changes before your new arrival comes into their space, will have a better outcome than just “ripping the band aid off” by bring the baby in. By letting your dog adjust to everything, you can keep your dog from lashing out at your baby, keeping the dog from becoming depressed, or the dog getting overly jealous.
When my husband and I first found out we were expecting our son we just got an Australian Sheppard a few months prior to finding out. She quickly became very spoiled, with a lot of toys and attention. We lucked out with her because she is very smart, she was pottied trained in only a few day of having her. However like most Aussies she is also very stubborn with picking up tricks she only wanted to learn sit, shake and lay down. Once we found out about our bundle of joy coming I started to look into what will help my spoiled Aussie expect my son. Here is what we did
Talk to your vet
Luckily for us we already had a vet appointment scheduled for our dog not long after we found out. We made sure she was updated on all shots and had no fleas or worms. We asked our vet what she recommended to get ready our dog ready. Some of the below listed is what she recommended.
Get baby’s stuff and set it up slowly over the 9 months.
The number one thing our vet recommended is getting the baby stuff set up over 9 months instead of all at once. We set up the crib in the baby’s room first, then slowly set everything else up such as a swing and pack and plays. By slowly introducing things to her it helped her learn not to be afraid of them and to get use to them.
Baby Noises and Grabbing
We all know babies make a ton of noises from crying to babbling to just full on screaming. Plus they also love to pull on things like hair and anything they can grab easily. We started to play baby sounds and very gently pulling on our dog to start getting her use to it. She was confused with the noises at first but adopted over time to the point that it didn’t make her confused or anxious her. The pulling did not phase her but helped her understand what to expect. Of course we don’t let our baby pull on our dog but he does try to grab at her a lot. I can trust to know she wont bite him if he gets a pull on her fur.
Pets Safe Space and Dog Free Zones
Like humans dogs need to have their alone time and a space to have it. Our dog uses her air kennel as her place she goes to when she is overwhelmed and needs some alone time. Having dog free zones are just as important as have a space for your dog. We have a play yard we set up when we want a dog free space and use pack and plays for safe places for baby to play away from the dog.
Play Time and Training
Your pet goes from having all the attention on them, to having to split the time, or even getting hardly anytime on them once the baby comes. Our dog is still a hyperactive puppy who needs to have time and attention to run around. My husband and I trade time out with the baby and the puppy, making sure they get time with both of us. When we are with our dog we try challenging her to help get energy out by working on training such as leave it command, stay and come command. Having playtime as a whole family is important, by showing both the dog and baby to be gentle with each other.
Making sure your dog feels at home and comfortable will make running your home easier. Our pets are family to us, preparing them for the new arrival is just as important as preparing ourselves