If you are expecting your first child, you know that you have some adjustments to make when it comes to your lifestyle. Before you get lost in decorating the baby room and buying all the baby stuff that you can find, there is one thing that you should not overlook.
If you have a pet, you have to realize that your furry family member will also need to do some adjusting. If you have had the pet for some time, he is likely to feel a bit confused about sharing attention with a new family member. There are several things that you can do to prepare your dog for the new baby.
Setting up baby stuff
One thing about having a new baby is that the whole experience comes with a ton of stuff! By putting out the new items, you can prepare your dog for the impending arrival. Set up the crib, play mat, swing, and other items gradually to give the dog time to explore the items and get used to them. The dog will slowly get used to the presence and scent of the items and by the time the baby comes home, he will be used to having the items around the house.
Get the dog around babies
If you have friends that have kids or small babies, it can help to have them around so that your dog can get used to the sight and sound of babies. If the dog has never been around babies, introducing one to him suddenly can be very confusing. By having babies around, the dog can get used to crying and other movements that come with small babies. If you cannot get anyone to bring their baby around regularly, consider using an electronic baby like the ones used in health class.
Create some boundaries
It is a good idea to create some boundaries for the dog before you bring baby home. Let your dog learn what he can and cannot do in good time. By letting him know that he is not allowed in the nursery, you will not have a problem keeping him out when the baby comes. Do not wait until the baby comes to start trying to set boundaries as this can cause resentment. You should let your dog know things that he cannot do anymore so that he is not confused by sudden changes.
Talk to your dog
Most pet owners agree that dogs understand when a big change is coming especially when it involves a baby or new resident. It is not silly to start talking to your dog about the new baby especially because he is bound to have noticed your growing stomach. Watching videos with babies can help and the fact is that dogs understand more than most people realize!
To keep your dog occupied and avoid feelings of neglect, you should stock up on dog treats. Apart from using them to reward good behavior, the treats can help to distract the dog or keep him occupied. You need to have a plan that may include having a pet sitter when necessary. Having a new baby is more work than most people realize and you are likely to need help with your pet. In addition, make sure that your dog has been given a clean bill for health by a Pleasantville, NY animal hospital so that your newborn baby will not experience any health risk upon constant contact with your beloved pet.