How Do I Prepare My Dog Before the New Baby Arrives?

You love your dog, and they are generally well-behaved, but that doesn't mean they will take a new member of the family in stride. Here are some easy ways you can prepare your dog for the arrival of your new baby, and lessen the chance of issues down the road.

From your dog's perspective, the sudden arrival of a baby in the household can feel threatening. They can become stressed and confused when their humans suddenly shift their attention away from them and toward the infant. So, some dogs may try to regain their control, and in doing so may begin to exhibit attention-seeking behaviours such as jumping up, chewing on baby things, or barking while you attend to the baby’s cries.

How can I avoid this behaviour?

Before the baby arrives, set new rules

If you decide, for example, that your dog will not be allowed into the baby’s room, establish this rule long before your baby comes home. This will help ensure that the dog does not become stressed and confused about being separated when the baby does arrive. Introducing a more erratic schedule that has unexpected times for walks, feeding, and play will also prepare your dog for the potentially erratic schedule that is to come.

Before you bring your baby home, prepare your dog for the grand arrival

It is important to get your dog used to the new sights and smells with which they will soon come into contact. Buying an inexpensive doll that makes baby sounds is one easy way to do this. You can wrap the doll in a blanket and hold it in your arms while you walk around the house. Using the same baby products (like shampoo, lotion and powder) you are about to be using, helps as well. Bringing home your newborn’s blanket before the baby themself comes home will also allow your dog to get used to their smell.

Normalising these new routines, sights and smells will make the whole experience more comprehensible for your dog, and give them greater feelings of security as things change. Remember to think of the situation from their perspective! And of course, if you need one-on-one help, get in touch with your local Bark Busters trainer.

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