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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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Socializing your dog essentially means getting your dog used to life outside the  house. When you socialize a dog you are introducing it to the sights and sounds of  your world and helping him/her to see it as normal. There are simple ways to do  this and the benefits are many for both you and your pup.  

Why should you socialize your dog? 

An under-socialized dog could become too excited or even aggressive with  strangers and can harm someone seriously. 

If a dog is well accustomed to being out in public you can enjoy doing lots of  things with your pet like going to the park without serious concern over your pets  behavior. Your dog will be able to enjoy these outings and even “mingling” with  other dogs without fights. 

Dogs that haven’t been socialized are unpredictable and dangerous. A well-socialized dog is a calm, confident, and happy one. 

There are a few simple ways to teach your dog to be comfortable and well behaved outside of the home. Something key in beginning this process is to  remember to repeat the same lessons daily so that they are not forgotten. If you  are patient with your pet and have a positive attitude you will succeed.  

Some socialization methods include: 

Enroll in an obedience class to teach you positive ways of training your dog. 

Take your dog out with you into the streets. Bring lots of treats for a reward to  reinforce positive behavior. Be sure your pet is secured on a leash first, of course. 

Allow your dog to experience the sounds and sights of cars going by, people  walking past and other animals being around. The more you do this the more  accustomed to it your dog will become. 

While you will be tempted to punish the dog if it behaves badly, you should just  ignore it. The kinds of bad behavior that you should ignore are jumping, barking,  leash jerking or biting, and other attempts to get your attention or go free. Rather  than harshly punishing the dog, you should simply try to redirect its attention  toward you. Only reward or praise any desired reaction like calmly walking, sniffing  around, or sitting patiently. This will teach the dog to only do those things because  they are good.

Take your dog everywhere you are allowed and expose it to as many different  places and situations as possible.  

Socializing your dog is just one of the many other ways to strengthen the bond  between dog and owner. If you continue to train your dog in this way you will see  results that will benefit both you and your pet. Remember that a confident dog is a  happy one. 

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