Preparing Your Dog for The Arrival of Your New Baby
Your special friend – the one you always do fun things with – is ignoring you and has suddenly started giving all her attention to a very small creature that makes strange noises and has no fur. This could well be your cat or dog’s feelings when you come home from the hospital with your brand new baby.
Imagining how your dog feels may help you better prepare for the arrival of your baby.
Lucy Breytenbach is a canine behaviour practitioner with a young baby of her own. The last two months of her pregnancy were filled with the stress and anxiety of her job, two businesses, and having to keep her husband, new baby and dogs happy.
She has a wealth of advice for parents-to-be. For instance, including your dog in your new baby’s life, from the very beginning. Even before the birth, she was training her German Shepherd in the garden. She also played baby and toy sounds to her dogs.
Smells are important, too. She spent two nights in hospital after the birth of her baby. Her husband brought the blanket the baby was sleeping in home, so the dogs could become accustomed to her baby’s scent.
Some parents worry dogs will be jealous. The truth of the matter is dogs don’t feel jealousy. They just want attention. So, make sure you spend time with them.
Start planning how you’re going to deal with the dogs and the baby from the time you find out you’re pregnant. Having a baby is always disruptive. In a good way, no mistake, but it changes things.
Keeping the dogs mentally stimulated is very important. It requires time and effort, but everything during this stage of life does. Keep your solutions simple, and have a plan. Be willing to change it, and never worry if you have to.