Before getting pregnant, mom may want to adopt a dog just to get a taste of what parenting is all about. Firstly, she will find out the hard way that one cannot compare caring for a dog to a baby - other than the fact that when the dog is a newborn puppy he will need to be let out several times in the night to be house-trained.
However, the point is that if mom has the dog before getting pregnant, and after baby was born, it can be a difficult time. Not only will she have the baby to care for, but she'll have to worry about the dog as well. She may not be prepared for what to do, aside from getting a few tips, which will be covered in this article.
And, if moms are expecting their first baby after adopting Fido, they are going to need to realize that a new baby will not only shake up her world, the upheaval will have a huge impact on Fido. And, if neither one is prepared for it, the family end up with a stressed and jealous dog, which can easily turn on the baby. In order to prevent that from happening, mom will need to know 20 things about raising a baby along with a dog. Read on to learn more right now.
20 Dogs Need To Get Used To Noise
The fact of the matter is that any dog's sense of hearing is a lot stronger than our hearing. That said, babies will make plenty of high-pitched sounds by the constant crying. That means once the baby comes home, the dog will be overexcited every time the baby screams. That is the last thing you want to see happen.
According to The Conversation, the best thing to do in order to prepare your dog for a crying baby and to be around other high-pitched sounds is to help your dog become desensitized. This has to be done before the baby is born. Put on the television up loud, and make high-pitched sounds of your own. This way, once the baby arrives, then the dog won't be as upset when the crying starts.
19 Keeping The Dog’s Routine Predictable Is KEY
It is a known fact that once the baby arrives, then there is no predictability with a newborn. They don't know the difference between day and night and will become hungry and need changing at any time. Additionally, parents will be exhausted while caring for the baby, so that means they are not going to worry about the dog as much.
However, according to The Conversation, it is crucial that the dog sticks to a predictable routine, especially during a time of upheavals. That means even though you or your partner are not going to be able to walk the dog at the same time each day, make sure you get some help with that. There are dog-sitters, and if you are fortunate enough, you can ask your friends and family to pitch in so that they walk the dog and help keep the dog's routine as predictable as possible.
18 Dogs Need Private Space
When the new baby arrives, the dog is going to be extremely confused and will be feeling too many emotions. As much as you want to include the dog with the baby, if your dog clearly wants to be left alone- then respect that.
According to The Conversation, it is essential that dogs have their privacy at times. Their whole world has been turned upside down because of the new baby coming. That means dogs will need to have a place in the home where they feel safe so they can use it when they need their privacy. And, at times like that, don't attempt to bother the dog. The dog will come out of the safe space when ready.
If the dog enjoys lying on a cushion in a particular spot, as long as the spot will not interfere with the baby, don't change anything and let the dog get the privacy needed during those times.
17 Dogs Need To Be Trained To Walk Properly
You will be taking many walks once the baby arrives. That means you will have to be walking the dog with the leash while you are pushing the stroller. That means, if your dog has been tugging and pulling during walking sessions, then that must be fixed.
According to The Conversation, before the baby is born, the dog needs to be trained to walk without doing any kind of tugging and pulling. That will make it very difficult otherwise when you are walking the dog and pushing the stroller at the same time. If your dog is trained to walk in a straight line with the exception of sniffing areas nearby, then the walking experience will be pleasant.
16 Dogs Must Become Used To Mom And Dad Carrying The Baby
Once the baby arrives, you are going to be carrying the bundle all of the time. The dog will be incredibly confused by that alone because the pooch has never seen you have the need to carry something so frequently.
According to The Conversation, in order to prepare your dog for the arrival of the baby, start carrying a bunch of blankets around in the dog's presence. And, you will need to talk to the bundle of blankets the same way you will be talking to the baby- which is the same way that you talk to the dog. That is important because if you place the bundle of blankets down, the dog will be curious to what you have been carrying.
This way, the dog can have a close look at the blankets and can paw it as well. This way, the curiosity won't be as strong once the baby is really taking the blanket bundle's place!
15 The Dog Must Be Discouraged From Jumping Up
When you adopt your dog, the first thing that should be discouraged is the jumping around. Whenever you take your dog for a walk, your dog can easily jump on someone who walks by that would not be amused by that. And, if you haven't taught your dog not to jump during that time - you will have no choice to do so before the baby arrives.
According to The Conversation, dogs must be taught not to jump during the pregnancy so that the dog becomes used to the new no jumping rule before the baby arrives. That said, there will be less of a concern about the baby jumping on the dog if the dog knows not to jump beforehand.
14 Sign The Dog Up For Obedience Training
If you are unsure of how to train your dog properly before the baby is born, or if you are having a rough pregnancy and you don't have the energy to teach the dog new rules- then you will need to sign up your dog for obedience training. And, your partner, friend or family member can take the dog.
According to Parents, it is really recommended that all dogs have been through obedience training before the birth of a baby. This way, your dog will be taught rules that will maximize his happiness and comfort while the baby is kept safe. And, that means there will be less of a worry of the dog harming the baby at some point.
13 Give Fido Baby Blankets To Sniff Before The Big Arrival
In order to really prep the dog for the baby, you need to start introducing your dog to smells that are associated with the new baby about three months before the due date.
According to Parents, it is very important that the dog is used to smells that are given off by the baby before the arrival. This way, the dog will not be so stunned and will not feel threatened, since they do not like surprises.
Since you need to purchase baby blankets before the baby's birth anyway, it is best if you purchase them three months before the arrival. Buy some baby powder, and put it on the blanket. Then, allow the pooch to have a big sniff or two, and do this every day until the arrival. This way, your dog will be used to those smells that come with the baby before the baby is in the picture.
12 The Dog Needs Lots Of Attention During The Baby’s Presence
After your baby arrives, you will be exhausted and may inadvertently shoo your dog away when all he needs is attention and love (especially after turning his life upside down by bringing in a new sibling out of the blue).
However, according to Parents, as tired as you will be, it is important that you give your dog love and attention during the time you are caring for the baby - don’t wait until the baby is asleep. If you are feeding your baby, pet your dog, if you can. If that is difficult then talk to your dog as much as possible. If he is wagging his tail, that means you are giving your dog the attention he needs and make this a habit. The last thing you want to happen is that your dog becomes jealous of the baby due to lack of attention!
11 Be Prepared For The Dog Getting Into A Lot Of Mischief
Even if you have been preparing your dog very well for the birth of your baby, you must expect that Fido will get into mischief. Even if you use hacks such as keeping the trash out of the dog's reach or keeping the mail away so the dog does not shred up the envelopes- your dog will still find ways to get into mischief. That is his way of protesting.
According to Parents, if your dog causes trouble such as purposely going to the bathroom in the house or chewing your shoes, as tempted as you are to scold your dog- be gentle. Like it was already mentioned, the dog is doing this because he is not happy about the changes. Yelling at him or harshly scolding him will make him protest even more. Give him one firm scold by making him know that what he did was not acceptable and don't belabor it. Eventually, the dog will stop and will accept the baby's presence.
10 Install Safety Gates
Once your baby is mobile and crawling around, the last thing you will want to see happen is that your pooch and your baby end up having a negative encounter. That said, according to Parents, it is absolutely crucial that install some safety gates so that the dog cannot get into the same area where your baby is crawling - and vise versa.
If the dog has a designated area in the home, then keep your baby away from the dog's place as well. The last thing you want to happen is any accidents where the baby or the dog could get hurt.
9 The Dog Needs More Toys
Your pooch is going to be curious about all of the baby toys that are strewn around. The last thing you want to see happen is that your dog ends up chewing up all of the toys that are meant for the baby to play with.
According to Parents, the one thing to do that will lower the chances of this happening is to buy Fido toys of his own. This way, if the pooch has plenty of exciting chew toys to chomp down on- then he will not be so curious about your baby's toys and will leave them alone.
8 Keep The Baby’s Toys Out Of The Dog’s Reach
This point is more of an elaboration on the previous one. However, even if your dog has plenty of toys of his own to keep him occupied, you will still want to make sure that all steps are taken in order to keep the dog away from the baby's toys.
According to Parents, the only way to make sure that the baby's toys are not chewed up by the dog is to make sure that they are not within Fido's reach. Even if Fido has plenty of toys, anything new will pique his curiosity, and he will end up ignoring all of his toys while he stays busy with the baby's stuff.
7 Keep The Dog’s Bowl Out Of The Baby’s Reach
As your baby becomes more mobile and curious, you will want to make sure that anything that belongs to the dog is kept out of reach. Especially if your dog needs to use something all the time like his food and water bowls. According to Parents, when it is not mealtime for the pooch, you must always remember to put the bowls on a counter, or somewhere that is inaccessible to the baby.
Not only will the baby topple the water bowl but your baby will become curious about the kibbles and that could be a hazard. Additionally, the dog will become territorial if the baby is anywhere near his food! That could be dangerous.
6 The Baby Must Be Taught To Be Gentle
Your baby is not going to know how to treat the dog, and that means Fido's fur will end up becoming yanked along with the tail, or the legs. That will only cause the dog to snap at the baby which is something you will need to avoid at all costs. According to Parents, in order for your baby to be gentle with the dog is if you teach your little one what to do to be nice.
Your baby is watching every move you make, so every time the dog is around, pet the dog gently in front of the baby. Your baby will mimic you and no serious problems will happen.
5 Always Supervise
If the dog is going to be in the same room with the baby, you must supervise both of them all of the time. No matter how sweet your pooch happens to be, one thing to always remember is that your dog is an animal. And, animals will scratch, snap, and bite if they are irritated. That even applies to the extremely docile dog that you believe could not harm a fly.
According to Parents, if the dog is around the baby and is pacing around nervously or happens to be making unusual eye contact- that is a clear sign that Fido is not comfortable, and that is the time to separate both of them before anything unthinkable happens.
4 Crate Training Is Important
You may think that putting your dog inside of a crate is unfair, but the fact of the matter is that the dog feels safe and secure in the crate. Fido is not claustrophobic like you may think. And, the best thing to do when you are unable to supervise your baby and the dog at the same time is to put the dog into the crate. However, the dog still may not like it if he is not used to being in there.
According to ASPCA, it is highly advisable to crate train the dog as soon as possible. This way, the dog will go inside the crate happily when things get too hectic. The dog will not whimper and cry because he will enjoy the coziness.
3 Have The Dog Become Used To Lots Of Touching
One thing to expect before the baby is born is that the dog will be poked and prodded all the time once the baby becomes mobile and curious. The baby will eventually learn and understand that the dog needs to be gently patted. However, that will come at a later time when the baby is older and more mature.
The best thing to do, according to ASPCA, is to get the dog used to plenty of touching and pokes before the baby is even born. Your dog loves and trusts you, so if you start touching Fido's nose, and poke him in different areas, then it won't be a big deal once the baby starts doing all of that. Be consistent with it and while you are getting the pooch used to being touched in ways that he won't like, speak in a calming voice and praise the dog.
2 Give The Dog Treats When The Baby Needs Care
It is not only crucial to keep your dog around while you are changing the baby's diaper or during feeding time. If you shoo your dog away when the baby needs care, then it will only encourage aggression and jealousy from the dog.
According to ASPCA, while you are taking care of the baby, make sure you have some treats on hand to give to the dog. This way, the dog will not feel left out while you are focused on the baby. And, the dog will become more accepting of the baby's presence if a treat is going to be thrown towards his direction.
1 Always Reward The Dog For Good Behavior
You will not want to only give your dog treats when the baby is around. If your dog does something that makes you proud like listening and responding to your commands, it is incredibly important that your dog is rewarded with treats and praises.
According to ASPCA, if the dog is getting a positive reaction along with a tasty treat for doing something that makes you happy, then Fido will be inclined to keep up with the good behavior. And, be sure to always be consistent every time your dog listens to you when you tell him to sit, stay, or when you give him any other command.
Sources: Theconversation.com, Parents.com, Aspca.org