Bringing home a new baby is exciting for the humans in the house but can be very confusing and overwhelming for your dog. For many parents, their dog is their first baby, and your dog knows it too! Dogs thrive on routine and consistency , so when adding a noisy little creature that takes up all of your time into the mix can cause confusion and sometimes jealousy for your fur baby.
You can plan ahead and make subtle changes to your dogs routine, so that when baby comes home your dog won’t associate the changes with the baby.
1. Sign your dog up for obedience school!
2. Set up the swing, crib and stroller and get your dog use to those items being around.
3. Get a baby doll and carry it around, using the swing, carseat and stroller. It seems crazy, but this really works!
4. Play a recording of a baby crying or get a baby doll that simulates crying.
5. Make gradual changes to your dogs schedule, such as where he sleeps or when he gets walked.
6. Lessen the amount of time you play with your dog, so that won’t be such a huge impact when your time will be spent focusing on your baby.
7. Line up a dog sitter and have them come occasionally play with or walk your dog. Set this up six weeks before your due date, that way this will be part of your dog’s routine.
8. Acclimate your dog to your baby’s smell before you bring your baby home. Have dad or partner bring home a hat or baby blanket that baby used and let your dog get use to the smell.
9. When you arrive home with your baby, greet your dog alone and be prepared for lots of licks and jumping. They haven’t seen you in a few days and will probably be excited. After your dog has relaxed, then introduce him to the baby. Allowing your dog to see and sniff the baby but still keeping a safe distance.
10. Every time you sit to nurse or bottle feed your baby, reward your dog for being quiet and chill.
11. Always tell your dog “good job” and offer a treat when they respond to the baby in a positive way.
12. After a few days, allow your dog to get closer to your baby.
13. With all of the new excitement your dog might get into a bit of trouble. Instead of scolding, try redirecting with a new toy or bone.
14. Have some new and exciting dog toys on hand.
15. Remember to still give your dog some alone time, they need to know you are still there for them too.
Just remember, transitions take time. Your dog will adjust with the right amount of patience and planning ahead!
Here are a few of our favorite doggy treats and toys!
Bullymake Box (for heavy chewers)
Anything from Best Bully Stick, we love all their chew treats!