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Preparing Your Dog for Baby

Our dogs are kind of like our children. Like, but not quite. I’m sure they are going to be in for quite the rude awakening when the real baby arrives. It’s not that we’ll ignore our beloved poochies; they’ll just be a little lower on the totem pole. And that, I suspect, will be hard for them.

When we found out that we were pregnant, one of our first questions was, “How can we prepare the dogs now?” I really believe this is the key – don’t expect your pets to be okay with an overnight overhaul. The new baby’s arrival will be hard enough; trying to institute new rules at the same time will be totally overwhelming for you and the dog.

Here’s what we’ve been doing to prepare our dogs for the baby: 

  • Adjust the nighttime routine: Both of our dogs slept in our bed. The little one was fine; the bigger dog was kind of a nightmare, getting in and out of bed all night long. I’m sure sleep will be at a premium in a few months. The baby has to wake us up, but the dog does not. We slowly transitioned him to the floor by creating a Cozy Cave, which he loves to sleep in.  Problem solved.
  • Get them out of your lap: Our little dog loves to sit in my lap. This might be a problem when a baby is sitting in my lap, too. We bought a creepy baby doll for $1 at a consignment sale, and I’ve been sitting with the doll in my lap about half of the time that I’m the computer.  I look like a nut, but it’s really helping my doggie figure things out. When my lap is occupied, she doesn’t really try to get up; she just sits in the doggie bed next to me.  And when my lap is free, she knows it’s cuddle time.
  • Get them used to the crying: Every now and then, I go to YouTube, find a crying baby video, and turn up the volume to full blast. The dogs definitely do not like the sound of the baby crying, but they are getting used to it.
  • Work on walking: And last, but not least, we’ve been working on walking. My bigger dog loves to go on long walks but isn’t very good at walking on a leash. We’ve been training him not to pull, which will make walking with a stroller much, much easier.

 

 

Hopefully, these little changes will keep the entire family – furbabies and all – happy once the baby arrives!

How did you prepare your dog for your baby?

Read more from Caitlin on Healthy Tipping Point and Operation Beautiful.

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