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12 Guidelines to Puppies and Pregnancy

Should you get a puppy when you're expecting? This is a very difficult question to answer, because it will depend on your level of commitment to the new puppy. There is no breed of dog that is better with children than another, everything depends on your ability to prepare the puppy for the new baby, and to care for both simultaneously.

Puppies require as much care as a newborn child. If you think that caring for a puppy will prepare you for your forthcoming baby it might, but nothing will prepare you for the work load of caring for puppy and baby.

When puppies aren't prepared for babies there are hardships that the animal didn't ask for. Many puppies who cannot be managed after baby comes home from the hospital wind up being re-homed, kennelled, or given to shelters.

Many of these situations wind up with an adolescent dog who winds up being put down. To avoid these heart aches, here are 12 guidelines to help you prepare a puppy for your little bundle of joy.

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14 Wait to purchase a puppy

If this would be your first time owning a dog we suggest that you wait until your baby is at least 3-4 years old before purchasing a puppy. When you do decide to get a dog make sure that the breeder is reputable and recommended. After you puppy has had its shots start socializing him/her right away.

13 Schedule a routine

If you absolutely want a puppy before the baby comes here are recommended steps to prepare the puppy for the baby. Puppies get used to a schedule and environment, but when the baby comes home all that will change, be sure that you're slowly introducing your pet to these changes.

12 Gates

You should plan and place baby gates in advance to separate the puppy and baby if that's what you want to do. Be sure to put them up well in advance of the babies arrival home so the puppy can get used to them. Puppies who are allowed free reign of the house until baby comes home will have confusion and issues with new strict rules that weren't being enforced before the baby's arrival.

11 Walk your dog regularly through out your pregnancy

Make sure you have help taking the puppy for its walks. If you're unable to walk the dog it will get left outside and become un-socialized which is bad for him/her and your family.

An un-socialized pet is angry, uncontrollable and unpredictable. The last kind of pet you want around a new baby or anyone! This guideline is very important to follow for you and the pup.

10 Begin to prepare the puppy for the baby early

Early gradual changes in your schedule around the house will help prepare the puppy for the changes the baby will bring with it. Let the puppy investigate the nursery before the baby comes home, send home blankets from the hospital for the puppy to sniff and so he/she can get used to the scent of the new baby.

9 Get obedience training for the puppy as quickly as you can

It is very important for the puppy to understand and obey the basic instructions like stay and down before the baby comes home. I can't imagine anything worse than trying to change  diaper while a puppy is tearing my favorite sneakers apart.

If the puppy shows signs of agitation toward your new baby you should speak to your vet immediately.

8 Coming home from the hospital

When you come home from the hospital you should get someone to hold the baby for you so you can give the puppy the proper attention it needs after your absence from the home.

Have the puppy on a leash as the excitement of the day will have him/her excited. If you've done the obedience training you'll find it very helpful in the first few days after coming home with your new baby.

Always remember to reward the dog properly for their good behaviour.

7 Supervise the interactions between puppy and baby

Always supervise your puppy and baby when they're together, never leave them alone together, even if they are both sound asleep. Puppies don't know how gentle they have to be with the new baby.

The last thing you want is for you puppy to play roughly with your baby. You want all interactions to be positive, which is why you have to be there giving positive reinforcement and love.

6 Don't plant the seeds of jealousy

Never set aside separate time for your puppy from your baby. If you do, you will make your puppy jealous of the baby and cause the puppy to resent you child. You want to always positively reinforce your interactions with your puppy in the presence of your baby.

Give the puppy praise and treats so the puppy associates the baby with positive socialization. Remember the goal is to make the two friends for life.

5 Always reinforce positive behaviours

Puppies vary in how they welcome a new baby, so give it time. If you're not seeing positive interactions with in a certain amount of time always speak with your vet. Remember a puppy is always learning, without careful intervention and direction your puppy will pick up bad behaviors, such as chewing shoes, stealing food and chasing cars or bikes.

Early on always reinforce the puppies positive behaviour with treats and love. Positive reinforcement has a bigger impact on animals than negative. Who wouldn't want to please someone  for a treat or some love?

4 Always reinforce positive behaviours

Puppies vary in how they welcome a new baby, so give it time. If you're not seeing positive interactions with in a certain amount of time always speak with your vet. Remember a puppy is always learning, without careful intervention and direction your puppy will pick up bad behaviors, such as chewing shoes, stealing food and chasing cars or bikes.

Early on always reinforce the puppies positive behaviour with treats and love. Positive reinforcement has a bigger impact on animals than negative. Who wouldn't want to please someone  for a treat or some love?

3 Buying the puppy

The best time to buy a puppy is during a time of little change or disruption so they can feel stable and welcome in their own home. Before you buy that puppy research different breeds to find out which type best suits your lifestyle, instead of choosing a dog based on appearances.

2 Prepare yourself for getting a puppy

Think about all that your new puppy will need, how much food it will eat, how many times a day you will need to walk the dog and how much time you will need to spend socializing and training your puppy.

Now compare the needs of the puppy to your needs as a pregnant woman. What will you need to have a safe and uneventful pregnancy. Does a puppy factor into your needs? Are you going to be capable of caring for a puppy the whole 9 months?

Remember you need to do what's best for you and by the puppy.

1 Prepare yourself for getting a puppy

Think about all that your new puppy will need, how much food it will eat, how many times a day you will need to walk the dog and how much time you will need to spend socializing and training your puppy.

Now compare the needs of the puppy to your needs as a pregnant woman. What will you need to have a safe and uneventful pregnancy. Does a puppy factor into your needs? Are you going to be capable of caring for a puppy the whole 9 months?

Remember you need to do what's best for you and by the puppy.

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