I consider my dogs as my first children. We got them both shortly after I graduated college and they were with us long before we even thought about having kids.
When I got pregnant with Harlan, there was never a question of “what’s going to happen to the dogs when the baby is born?” They were a part of our family and no matter what, we would make the adjustment to a new baby easy on them.
Throughout my first pregnancy I noticed a slight change in each of their personalities. Toby, the Yorkie and smaller of the two, always wanted to be at my side. He would lay on my stomach each time I went to bed or took a nap. Hudson, the silky terrier, began to keep his distance. He really wanted nothing to do with me except when it came to food. After seeing the changes, I couldn’t help but wonder; did they know I was pregnant?
Throughout my pregnancy Hudson seemed to get progressively more nervous and skittish around other dogs, people, and especially children. His behavior made me nervous and I decided to consult his veterinarian about it. After an in depth discussion, we started to “prepare” the dogs in the best way we could for the impending arrival of Harlan.
We let them both hang out in her nursery to get used to her things, made sure they knew the difference between her toys and theirs, and began to take more walks with them so that they could get used to being around other children. When Harlan arrived, we brought home a blanket that had her scent and let them smell it before she was home for good.
The afternoon we took her home both dogs seemed to adjust well and sniffed and smelled her for a little bit. Our first night home did not go as smoothly.
After several feedings with Harlan, I woke up to the smell of a bowel movement. I turned on the light thinking that I was getting ready to change Harlan’s diaper, but what I saw when the light went on was what looked like a murder scene. Hudson, the dog that had been a nervous wreck throughout my entire pregnancy, had literally made himself sick from all of the change that occurred the day before. To put it mildly, he was pooping blood everywhere. It was all over our bed, the floor, our bathroom. Everywhere! My husband rushed him outside so that if it happened again, it would be in a safe place. Sure enough, as soon as he went outside, he was going to the bathroom again.
At 4am we called the emergency vet and took him in right away. After many tests and hours in the emergency room, the vet told us that he had an enlarged prostate due to stress. He put him on medicine to relieve the swelling and help him from getting sick. Before we knew it we were home with a three-day-old little girl and a very sick, stressed out dog.
After two years, Hudson has finally adjusted to Harlan. While Toby is still the one that favors her (as he has from the very beginning,) Hudson could not be a more loving and friendly dog.
Now with the second pregnancy, I have already started to notice Toby hanging around me more. Hudson hasn’t seemed affected yet, and I am hoping that it stays that way. My wish is that my first night home with baby number two goes a lot smoother than it did with the first!
Did you notice a change in your pets when you were pregnant or when the baby arrived?
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