For many dog owners who are expecting a child, the prospect of safely introducing their beloved pet to their new little bundle of joy can be the source of a lot of anxiety. However, it does not have to be. This article will outline two important steps to take beforehand to make the transition for your pet go as smoothly as possible.
Step 1: Commands
To start with your dog’s preparation, make sure that it knows all of the commands it will need to know in order to keep it from unintentionally harming your baby. Teaching it not to jump up while you are holding the baby in your arms, as well as to sit or lay down, are essential skills. Practice these abilities while holding a doll or another object in your arms like a baby. Keep plenty of treats around to reward your pooch when they do as they are told.
Step 2: Expected Sights, Smells & Cleaning Products
Another great means of preparing dog for baby is to get them acquainted with certain sights and smells that will be commonplace when the baby arrives.
If you know which lotions or creams you will be using for your baby, put them onto your own hands so that your dog can become familiar with the smells ahead of time. Cleaning products can actually help out here, too. Likewise, if you plan on using a disinfectant in your new nursery like Lysol® Disinfectant Spray, try it out before your baby’s arrival and allow your dog to sniff around and get used to the smell. Similarly, you can lightly spray an article of clothing or blanket and place it on or near your dog’s bed so that they can get cozy with it.
As the new items and supplies roll in—the car seats, the highchairs, the toys—take them out of their packages with your dog nearby and let him sniff around.
Before your baby arrives, a little bit of practice with your pooch can go a long way to making the greeting process that much easier for your pair of future pals.