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PREPARING YOUR DOG FOR A BABY

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Hello everyone,



 
For so many couples who are expecting the idea of introducing a baby to their dog can make them feel apprehensive, but its understandable as there is so much to consider and no one really knows what to expect. Fortunately the introduction doesn't have to be as problematic and stressful as you may be thinking, our dogs are very in tune with us and probably can sense that something is up.
 
We have an eleven year old Jack Russell/Beagle who we adore and you could say to some extent that he was our first 'baby'. But being our first 'baby' he became a spoiled one who loved to get up on the sofa, climb on our bed and the cheeky bugger would sit in the window sill when we left to do errands. But I knew that as soon as I found out I was pregnant we couldn't let him behave like this- we had our work cut of for us!

I really didn't have a clue where to start so I did some research and I couldn't actually believe some of the awful and misguided information that was out there. I even read one article that said that it would be a good idea to teach our dog to expect to miss a meal every so often.  I wasn't too sure if that was supposed to be a tongue-in-cheek comment but I could never do this to him, even if he was mistaken for a sausage dog frequently.

My dog is and will always be a part of my family and I want him to feel loved and valued as much as everyone else in the family even when I had a baby.  So if you are expecting, and want a happy and healthy environment for your new baby here are my tips to help you introduce your pet to your new baby.
 
The first thing that all pet owners need to remember is never under any circumstances leave your pet and baby unattended! No matter how well you think you may know your pet, you will always have to keep a watchful eye. But we had further concerns about our dog as he was eleven years old, who had never really been around children and had become a nervous dog, even high pitched noises scare him.
 
BEFORE THE BABY COMES (There is lots to do)

It is so important to prepare yourselves and your dog before the baby arrives.

Our first task was to define the NO GO zones in our home so that once the baby arrived he would already be used to them. So there was no more getting up on the sofa, or the window sill and having limited time in the front room. Think about what it will be like when you have your dog and baby in the same room? Try and define a clear route out of the room, even if this is keeping the doors open so if your dog was to ever become uncomfortable or just wants some down time they are able to do so. We created a space that was just for him in our utility room where he had a bed, a crate, food and water so he could relax. We had to remember he was an old man and likes to sleep.  




 

 

Now that you are expecting a little one there really is no better time to strengthen your dogs obedience training and their understanding of basic house rules. This was something that we worked with our dog for a few months because we had become quite lax with his training. But it didn't take him long to get familiar with the training along with a daily walk which is really the best thing anyone can do for their dog as it calms them, keeps them happy and is great for their health. It would be a good idea to vary the times of their daily walks and who ventures out with them as they need to be comfortable with everyone.
 
 
 
 
Soon enough your dog will have lots of new sights, sounds and smells around them and by gradually leaving baby items around the home will help the get use to them. It is best to let them investigate and if they do happen to pick anything up immediately redirect their attention to their own toys - you don't want your dog to think that it is acceptable to pick up the babys belongings.

FIRST MEETING

Your bundle of joy has finally arrived and that first meeting is not too far a way. While you are in hospital its a good idea to send home a hospital blanket that has been wrapped around your baby. Once someone takes the blanket home get them to calm your dog down and sit so he can sniff the new smell - he will then associate that smell with being calm and hopefully you are ready for the next step.

After what seems like forever you are finally on your way home with your new baby and its time to introduce the new member of the family to your beloved dog.  Its always best to make sure that your dog is well exercise beforehand, then enter your home without your baby so you can give your pooch some attention as you would have been missed. After a while bring in the baby and as your dog is calm enough you can encourage him to come closer to sniff the baby.

It is crucial that you stay calm and relaxed because if you seem nervous or jumpy your dog will soon pick up on your feelings and they may become nervous too, perhaps thinking that bundle in your arms is something to worry about. Always praise and reward your dog for their good positive behaviour around your baby.
 



DAILY LIFE WITH THE BABY

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post never under any circumstance leave your dog and your baby alone. No one can ever know what can happened and you may think you know your dog, but its just a too bigger risk to take. But as you settle into daily life with your dog and baby still continue to focus on being positive and encouraging - include your dog when you are around your baby and in turn the dog will soon realise that this is normal behaviour.

 
 
 
Even though our time with our 'first baby' was limited, we always made sure that we made time for him everyday. I think that it is so important to make time for your dog so that they will realise that even though the pack has a new member, he is still loved. Introducing a new member of family to a dog is not as easy transition for most and it can take a lot of time and preparation. But there are some cases where a dog may avoid the baby all together and unfortunately you have to see this as a red flag and you need think about re-homing your beloved pet. It will be heart breaking for your family but some pets can not adjust to their new lives.

 



*DISCLAIMER* I do have to make a disclaimer now and say that I am in no way a professional and any information that I have included is all based on what worked with us when preparing our dog for a baby. If you are in anyway having trouble with your dog it is always best to seek professional advice or enrol in classes.



Do you have any tips for preparing your pooch for a new baby? 
18 comments on "PREPARING YOUR DOG FOR A BABY"
  1. Awww Kelly-Anne he is a beaut!! Such a lovely face, you offer some great advice. We have 2 cats and they didn't take well when we had Alfie, they weren't as bad with Elarna as they knew what to expect but it is hard when they are not used to it. Thanks for linking up to the #bestandworst

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  2. I adore that face of his...lol. I can only imagine what heartbreak it would be in having to seek other means for your beloved pet especially if they couldn't adjust to their new life. Thankfully for us we worked through it and we continue to do so. Amelia adores her dog and loves to feed him Cheerios. Thank you so much for stopping by for your lovely comments! :)

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  3. We don't have a dog, but we do have a cat!
    I have to say that our first cat ran away when my son was about two weeks old, so we obviously didn't do a good job of getting him used to the idea like you did! :(
    Actually, I don't think he would ever have enjoyed being around the children, so it was probably the right choice on his part. The cat we have now is a completely different kettle of fish and seems to actually like the kids, even though they do love her a little aggressively on occasion!
    x Alice
    #kcacols

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    1. I don't have a cat but my sister does and when her little one came along her cat ran away and she did the same as you and got a kitten. Her daughter follows her cat everywhere so it worked out the best for them. It is a shame when it doesn't work out the way you want...Thank you so much for your comments and for stopping by x

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  4. You sound very organised! We didn't have a dog but we did have a cat and I wished that I had put more thought into getting the cat used to the idea of having a baby in the house #twinklytuesday

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    1. We had to be as our dog was eleven years old and was used to be on his own. I knew that this transition wouldn't be taken lightly and I like to be organised lol. But in all seriousness it was a long process and it worked which is fab for all of us. My daughter loves her dog and he follows her everywhere...Thank you so much for your lovely comments x

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  5. Great pointers,I haven't had a dog while I've had children.Always had them while we were kids though.Making them n=miss a meal seems a bit spiteful really.My daughter has been nagging for a dog for a long time and I think she's slowly wearing me down ;-) x #kcacols

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    1. Yes you should get one you daughter would love one. It would also be better for you as you have already have children. I couldn't believe what I read when it said expect them to forget a meal...rotten buggers. Thank you for stopping by and for your lovely comments x

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  6. we dont have a dog but this has actually mde me think! youve hit some good point that a lot of poepl dont think about! suz x beauisblue.com

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    1. Aw thank you lovely there was so much that we didn't consider at first but if you already have a dog and about to add to the pack its best to always be prepared. Thank you for your comments x

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  7. We don't have dogs. We are cat lovers.We also had to prepare my cat before my girls arrived home. I think the first child was more difficult than with the second one. I think the cat was already used to have a child around so when Sienna came he behaved very well. But the first time around he didn't understand. My cat was like the baby in the house too. He was all over us all the time. So at the beginning I couldn't pet him as much so my husband had to give the extra love that was missing from my side. Slowly he understood. I do agree that I wouldn't leave a baby alone with the pet at all. You never know what it could happen. So better to be safe than sorry. Thanks so much for sharing this at #KCACOLS. I would love to see you again on Sunday! :-) x

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    1. Thank you so much for hosting there was so fab link ups again this week. Itt was good that your cat soon began to realise what is what as some cat cannot handle change. Thank you so much for your comments x

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  8. Thanks so much for writing this! It is definitely helpful for those introducing their babies and dogs for the first time! Hopefully it will help people and reduce the amount of dogs that are given away! Thanks for linking up to #KCACOLS this week :)

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    1. It is just so awful seeing the amount of dogs being rehomed for this reason. I don't think many people are prepared enough and will make changes at the last possible chance and that just will not work. Its a long process that needs lot of time and lots of training. Thank you for stopping by the blog and for your comments x

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  9. Very cute! I think it's so important to make time for pets after a baby is born. I tried to ban my cat from certain areas and she was like, whatever. Luckily she hated the child from first sight and generally hides away until he is asleep.

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  10. Oh no, that's a bit of shame. I guess she will get use to your little one being around and perhaps come out of hiding. Fingers crossed she will. I bet she loves lots of cuddles once little one is in bed though. It's so difficult to know what to do for the best sometimes. Thank you for your comments and stopping by. X

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  11. Hi Kelly-Anne, preparing a dog for a new arrival is so important, as is not excluding the dog from the pack. Our first dog was definitely our first 'baby' and went everywhere with us, so preparing her when we had our first baby was top priority. Luckily she really wasn't bothered either way. And no matter how comfortable a dog may seem with a baby you are right to say never leave them alone together, it is just not worth the risk.

    xx

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  12. What a beautiful dog! Great advice. I've never had a dog so wouldn't know about introducing them to a baby but this is great advice. Thanks for linking up to #justanotherlinky xx

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