Are you expecting a little bundle of joy? Wonderful news! Baby preparations probably take up a good part of your time and between two appointments, you wonder how the baby and your furry friend are going to get along together.
In this article, we give you some tips to get this new family life off to a good start! Take a deep breath, everything will be fine 🙂
Planning the space
Don’t upset your dog’s habits too much because he is sensitive to change. So you need to keep your things in the same place.
If you have no other choice, make gradual changes and arrange to put your dog in a place where he can isolate himself and where he will feel good.
Associate the new place with something pleasant by putting small treats or his favourite toys in it and show him that his place is there.
Correct bad behaviour:
- Pulling on a leash: a dog who pulls on a leash is already not pleasant in normal times. Imagine yourself with the stroller or the baby carrier and your dog madly pulling on it (you see the scene?!). To find out how to teach your dog to walk, don’t hesitate to watch Loranne’s video on our YouTube channel! (Link)
- Don’t jump: along the same idea as a dog pulling on a leash, imagine yourself with baby in your arms and your furry friend jumping on you at the same time, rather terrible, isn’t it?
- Go to the couch: everyone has their own point of view about dogs on sofas. However, don’t forget that you must be able to sit on the sofa without it being a problem. Don’t hesitate to view this article to learn more (link)
Reinforce good behaviour:
- Get your dog used to the presence of children: don’t neglect the socialization stage. Don’t forget to get your dog used to contact with children: screaming, sudden gestures, crying, etc. So many things your dog should be used to from a young age.
- Learning to calm down: calming down is essential.
- Return toys: make sure that baby toys don’t look like Fido’s toys. So, there is no risk that your furry friend will take baby’s favourite ring to calm his nerves. If he accidentally takes one of baby’s toys, you should be able to retrieve it without chasing him around the house.
Check-up at the vet:
This makes sense, but a check-up at the vet is essential before the baby arrives. Think of claws, deworming, vaccines, etc. Is all this in order?
When baby arrives
– Make your dog smell a sheet in which baby has been wrapped: remember that dogs have a sense of smell 60 times more developed than ours.
– Welcome your dog warmly: your dog has been waiting for you for several days, show him that you are happy to welcome him.
– Let him sniff baby (wait until he is completely calm): Don’t worry, your furry friend will quickly understand that your baby is dear to you and that he must be gentle with him. It is nevertheless very important that your dog is completely calm each time he comes into contact with the baby. So avoid any stressful situation or misconduct.
– Don’t neglect your dog: continue to play and cuddle your dog in the presence of baby so that your furry friend associates your child with something pleasant (She plays with me when the baby is there = I like baby)
– Going for walks, always essential: you will probably be very tired and overwhelmed the first few weeks after your return home and this is completely normal! Remember, however, that there is nothing your dog can do about it and that he will always need to let off steam to feel good in his paws. Don’t neglect the daily walks. If you are too tired for this (no one is judging you :-)), ask your companion to take over.
A word of caution: While we’re sure the introductions will go very well, never leave your dog alone with baby. Your dog is still an animal (with sometimes unpredictable reactions) and baby does not yet have the dexterity or maturity to know how to behave with the dog.
Baby will grow up and be lucky enough to have a dog by his side, which is wonderful! But we all know how energetic children can be.
It is important that your dog has his own space in the house. A space where he feels good and where he can take refuge at any time. Teach your children not to disturb the dog when he is in his space. After all, the dog is a living being like us. And like us, he may need (or want) moments of calm.
You are about to live an incredible adventure with your future tribe, so put all the chances on your side so that it goes well!
If you are having trouble with your furry friend, do not hesitate to consult a behaviour trainer or educator to help you solve the problem.
By the way, we forgot to tell you: congratulations!
The Dog Chef team