All too often, when a cute, little, noisy roommate moves in, the ones with fur get evicted. You yourself probably know of friends or family who said goodbye to their dog once they found out they were expecting. And it's true, having a dog around a baby does present some dangers. But is there really no other choice but to rehome your four-legged family member?
The fact of the matter is that there are lots of preparations you can take to help your pooch adjust to the new arrival. Doing all of these things doesn't guarantee that your dog will respond well, however, it does improve the chance that life will carry on smoothly.
Dogs who were properly socialized as puppies tend to do better around kids in general. A young dog who is exposed to babies will usually respond more favorably than an old, cranky mutt who has only ever been around adults. Babies react in unpredictable ways and make all sorts of strange noises that may confuse or upset your pup. Your job will be to help your canine understand that these new sounds and scents aren't threatening.
To help you on your journey to a harmonious household, you need to stock up on some things. The following will help make your dog's transition as smooth as possible.
Treats: Yummy food is the ultimate positive reinforcement. You'll need lots of treats to help condition your pooch.
Baby Gear: Make sure you get some of the bigger (potentially scarier) items for your wee bundle of joy well in advance. This way your canine will be able to get used to them first.
Baby Grooming Products: These creams and goops will help normalize the smell of a baby for your dog.
A New Dog Bed: If you currently share a bed with your pupper but plan on changing that, get him a new, super comfy spot to sleep before the big event. It'll make the change easier.
A Doll: Some people find that using a baby doll during their training sessions helps the dog understand what's in store.
Keep in mind, even if you are successful at teaching your dog to be peaceful with your baby, never leave them alone together. Even a well-meaning pooch could seriously injure a little person, or worse.
Below are some great methods to help prepare your pup for her new, less furry sibling.