If you have a pet and expect a child you should think about how the pet will handle the new member of the family. Dogs are unpredictable around strangers and when you come with a new family member you can’t be sure about what the pet’s perception of the event is, but there are certain things you can do to ease the introduction.
With this in mind here is how to handle your pets around babies, prepare the pet for the event and how to make it easier for him to adapt.
Bring new things gradually into your home
The baby will need a lot of new items and if you bring them into your home a while before the birth then the dog will have time to prepare. The crib will be something new and then you might come with a new swing and so on, but put them all gradually and leave time to get used to each item.
Having a baby room that is kept out of the pet’s access will only make him/her more curious to explore it.
Allow the pet to interact with other babies
If you have friends with babies invite them to your home and see how the pet reacts to them crying or moving around. Depending on how the pet will handle these events you can set boundaries such as not allowing him/her to jump in the nursery or doing things you don’t want him/her to do when the baby arrives.
These new rules can be enforced with treats and will help him/her learn better, so make sure you have a lot of rewards handy when trying to teach the pet.
Don’t neglect the pet
The first days are the most critical ones because the mother will have to be in the hospital for a few days and the dog will probably miss her, so make sure you think about how you introduce the new family member to the pet.
Only after his/her excitement for seeing you back is over should you move to present the baby and see the reaction. Some pet owners said that their dogs knew the owner was pregnant and whether this is the case or not you should have a plan.
As with the older brothers, the pets also think that they might lose their importance when the baby arrives, so don’t alter the normal schedule and this will help with the adaptation.
Because a birth is something that requires patience and the hospital time is unpredictable you should make sure the dog has a pet sitter or someone close to care to his/her needs.