Here’s the situation. You love your four legged friend, he’s been there for you since you were living in that small apartment with only Ben & Jerry to keep you warm…well, cold at night. Now, you’re married and guess what — pregnant! Yay! But wait, how will Spot take to the baby? Is it safe? Should you let your sister keep him until the baby has her shots? Fear not, mama bear. With adequate preparation, there’s nothing to worry about.
Now that you know you’re expecting, it’s the perfect time to start getting your pet ready. If he doesn’t have any obedience training, now’s the time to sign him up or start training yourself. The last thing you want is Spot chewing up the baby’s pacifiers and those nice shoes you got for your birthday. Double crying.
If you have a friend or relative with a baby, invite them over. You will get an opportunity to see how your dog reacts to a small human, and correct any behaviors they may have. This also gives Spot a chance to get used to a baby. Understand that there’s a chance your pet has never even seen a baby before. Of course they’ll be interested and desperate to put their dirt covered snout in your baby’s face, just to sniff them out.
Get your pet ready for the long haul. Meaning, playing some recordings of baby cries or squeak some baby toys around them. They have to get their sensitive ears accustomed to the musical stylings of change-my-diaper screams and the beautiful symphony of those Elmo dolls. Joy.
Give your canine companion extra love and cuddles. You’ll be busier than you have ever been at any stage in your life for the first couple months after bringing baby home. Spend some extra time with your pet. Go on those long walks that you both miss but haven’t made the time for. Allow your dog it’s favorite treats every so often, pamper him a bit! He’ll be feeling a little neglected and maybe even left out when the baby comes.
“He’ll be feeling a little neglected and maybe even left out when the baby comes.”
Introduce your dog to the nursery. Allow him to sniff, plunder, and just bask in the atmosphere. When you’re ready, command him to leave. If he doesn’t immediately vacate the premises, work on that. He needs to understand the nursery is mostly off limits, and what you say goes. It’s pack leader territory, and he must respect that.
Once the baby comes, you have to control the introduction. Get it right the first time, so you don’t have to spend time you really don’t have repairing their relationship. When you come home from bringing your bundle of joy into the world, have someone else hold the baby while you greet your pet. Allow him to jump all over you, be excited, and welcome you back home.
After this, try to have your spouse or relative take him for a long walk (only if you aren’t up for it) to drain all his pent up energy. Once he’s panting and delirious with post-walk glee, have him sit. Slowly enter the room with your baby and allow him to sit next to you. Reward his good behavior! Allow him to peer into your arms and get a good look — and a good whiff! It’ll ease his nerves. Then, enjoy! You have a beautiful baby, and a wonderful dog. See, didn’t I tell you there was nothing to worry about?
If you enjoyed this post, you should read “A Dog Without A Spleen” here.
Have you introduced your pup to your new baby? How did it go? Share below!