Preparing Your Dog For Baby's Arrival August 11 2014

If you are pregnant, your four-legged friend will already be sensing that something is going on. However there are some things you can do to prepare your dog before baby’s due date. :)

Set Up Baby Stuff 

It is a good idea to set up some of your baby's gear such as a baby swing or stroller around the house to let your dog sniff it out. Try to get your house baby ready a little earlier so your pet has time to adjust to all the new things taking over 'his' territory. 

Address Unwanted Habits

If there are any habits you want changed before your baby's arrival, take care of them as soon as possible. For example if your dog currently sleeps in your room or jumps up on your couch and you don't want them to continue doing this establish new rules before the baby arrives. The last thing you want is for your dog to associate any huge changes in their daily routine with the baby's arrival. 

Establish A Doggy Safe Zone

It is a good idea to make sure your dog has a dedicated retreat within your home where they feel safe. Whether this is a kennel or a room or a dog bed in a hidden area it is nice for your furry friend to be able to escape and relax away from the baby.

Get Them Used To Baby Noises

We all know that babies cry but your dog may not. If possible spend time with your pet around other peoples babies or even consider downloading some baby crying sounds and playing them for your dog while reassuring them. This may sound extreme but it will help to take the edge off hearing your baby crying in the first few days at home. 

Bringing The Baby Home

After preparing your furry friend as much as you can for baby's arrival it is important to try have a smooth transition when baby arrives home on the first day. Try and get your dog used to the scent of the baby. You may want a family member to bring a blanket or item of clothing with baby's smell on it it before arriving home. Take it slowly when walking in the front door and before showing your pet to the baby, greet them alone with all the love and attention you usually would give them. When their excitement settles down show them the baby in the car seat from a distance to introduce them. You can even let the dog sniff the car seat if you feel comfortable letting them get that close. 

Give Your Dog Their Usual Attention

New babies require a lot of attention and your usual routines can easily go out the window. For your pet's sake, it is important to keep their routine as consistent as possible. Try to take them for walks at their normal times and give them lots of love and attention so their life doesn't feel like it has been turned upside down because of the baby. 

Keep A Watchful Eye

No matter how well you know your dog, it is important to always keep a watchful eye on them around your baby, especially through the first year of growth and development. Never leave your pet alone with the baby and set boundaries as early as possible. If you don't want the baby in your babies room then make sure you teach them that straight away and don't falter. Make sure you do the same for your baby and teach them to be gentle and respectful of the dog from the very beginning to make sure they will be best buddies in the future.

What About Cats?

While cats generally seem to be much more independent than dogs, many of the same tips above can be applied to your furry feline friends. Another thing to consider with cats is their ability to climb and get into things, including the crib or bassinet. Make sure you always close the door to the room baby is sleeping in or install a baby gate that your cat can’t get through. Also, make sure kitty litter and food is in a space that baby won’t be able to access once crawling.