There are many households that have pets. Animals are a fun and welcome  addition to a home. When you are expecting a baby you should know that there  are ways to prepare your dog for the new addition. Preparation for a baby is top  priority and getting your pet used to the idea of a new person being there is most  important. Just like any other form of training, it is best to remain positive and  patient with your dog so that they will learn the things you want them to. After all,  there’s no room for mistakes when there’s a baby involved and you can never be  too prepared. 

Some tips for preparing before the baby arrives: 

If the mother-to-be is the one that is usually the closest with the pet, let another  member of the family begin daily activities with the dog. Allow someone else to  walk it, feed it, and give it attention so that the dog does not feel abandoned when  the baby arrives. 

Be sure that your pet is very healthy and has all required vaccinations. A check-up  with the vet will make sure that your pet is parasite and disease-free. Also talk with  your vet about what you should expect when exposing your dog to an infant. This  will give you an idea of how the dog will behave. 

Have your pet spayed/neutered. Animals are typically very territorial. Having them  spayed/neutered will resolve bad behavior and lessen the chance for aggression  and anxiety. 

Take your pet to an obedience class that uses positive training techniques. This  will teach your pet good behavior and teach you how to react in certain situations. 

Expose your pet to sounds you would hear in a household with a new baby. These  kinds of sounds are a baby crying, a rocking chair, swings, and other baby toys.  This way they will not be startled or uncomfortable with the baby actually there. 

Teach and re-teach your dog that the baby’s room is off-limits. To keep them from  feeling left out you can use baby gates or screens to close off the room without  closing the door.  

Teach your dog not to jump on furniture or in your lap unless you say so. Also  make sure they know that all baby furniture is off limits. 

Before you actually have the baby, use a baby doll and act like it is the real thing.  This will give your puppy a head start in getting used to the new addition. Also use 

products on yourself that smell like the baby. Since dogs rely so strongly on scent,  this will help a lot in getting the dog accustomed to the baby. 

After the baby is born: 

Before bringing the baby into the house, allow the dog to sniff at the babies  blanket or article of clothing. It is best to be gradual and take small steps. 

Allow another person to carry the baby so that when you enter the house you can  give your pet the attention it wants. After all, when you’re absent for a little while  your pet will miss you. 

After giving your pet the attention it wanted, sit down with the baby. Cautiously let  your pet sniff around and investigate. This allows the pet to become “acquainted”  with the infant. Keep treats on hand to reward positive behavior and reactions. 

Stick as closely to old feeding and playing routines as possible. Dramatic and  sudden changes can stress your pet and cause anxiety. Of course there’s going to  be a little chaos with such a huge responsibility, but it’s worth the effort to ease  your dog into the situation. 

Always remember to continue taking a little time out of your day to spend with your  dog and keep a positive relationship with them. This will keep the bond strong  between you and your pet. 

Having a baby is a very exciting experience. Tons of preparation is required to  ensure the safety of an infant. In the end, however, it will all be worth it. If your dog  is happy and behaves properly there is lots of fun to be had for many years to  come.

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