Are you having a new baby soon? Congratulations! Bringing a brand new son or daughter into this world is one of life’s greatest pleasures. Your baby is going to make a life-changing addition to your house.
And when you already have a “little one” running around then you need to prepare him for the arrival of the new family member. Yes, the “little one” that I am referring to is your puppy. Many dog owners forget to take the necessary steps needed to help their puppy adjust to having someone else in the house that will get more attention than they are getting. Here are a few ways to help you prepare:
1. The most important thing that you can do is to allow your pup the opportunity to socialize with small children inside your house. While this may not be practical for some people, the idea here is to have small toddlers and children introduced into the house so that your puppy can understand that these little people are friendly and he has no reason to feel defensive or insecure.
Have your friends who have children come over and play with your dog in the house. If your puppy seems a little aggressive at first, a great way to help them adjust is to allow the children to carry dog treats in their hands so that the puppy can associate the treat to a child as being something positive. This will help relieve tension for the dog when your new baby arrives.
2. Dogs thrive on repetitive schedules. Your puppy is the same way. If you have gone through the same routine on a daily basis with your puppy as far as feeding times, exercise times, play times, etc. then you need to realize that the schedule may suddenly change when your new baby is born. This sudden shift in the daily routine can prove to be alarming to your puppy, especially with the addition of a new person in the house that is getting all the attention.
A few weeks before the baby is due, start changing up the daily routine so your puppy can get used to it. Perhaps change around his feeding times. Exercise with your puppy at different times each day. Maybe take a nap unexpectedly in the room in which your baby will be sleeping. Although doing these things may sound strange, you will understand the benefit that it has upon your puppy when your schedule is personally thrown way off guard due to taking care of the responsibilities of a new baby. This will help your puppy to not be so alarmed when you are doing different things each day.
3. Immediately stop any games that you play with your puppy which are on the aggressive side. For example, most dog owners love to play tug-of-war with their dogs, or play-wrestle. There is absolutely nothing wrong with these dog games and you should continue them in the near future. However, it doesn’t take much common sense to understand that your dog may view the new baby as a toy which he wants to play these same aggressive games with. Let’s not have that happen!