Dogs are an important member of the family, and before you had kids they were probably the closest you got. Once a baby enters the house, however, it can be easy for your dog to fall to second place as you get distracted by adjusting to life as a new baby.
Even so, your dog is still a member of your family and deserves your care and attention too. While it’s not always easy, there are things you can do to adjust your routine to make sure your dog stays happy and healthy. Read the following for useful advice on caring for your dog with a newborn in the house.
Be prepared before baby arrives
Preparation is usually the way to avoid many problems, and by factoring in your dog in your preparations for your baby’s arrival you can help make things much smoother further down the line. Make sure your dog is fully trained, especially with verbal commands, so that they listen to you and are disciplined in their behavior. You might need to attend classes to get some help.
Introduce your dog to the baby
Rather than keeping your two babies separate, introduce them. The new sounds and smells won’t be lost on your dog, who is likely to show some interest in the new arrival. Let them sniff the baby, its clothes, etc. and reward them for showing good, calm behavior. You can keep them on a leash in case they get over-excited, but many dogs will grow to love your baby as part of the family and even become protective over them.
Keep up your dog’s routine
As difficult as it can be between sleepless nights and busy days, try to keep up your dog’s routine. Ensure feeding times are the same and that you take them for walks at the time you’d usually go. You can start taking out the stroller on your walks to help everyone get some fresh air and exercise, or use it as an opportunity for you or your partner to get out of the house for a little bit and have some alone time.
Making sure your dog gets enough exercise will stop them from getting bored and means they’ll be more likely to behave at home. It can also help prevent weight gain - something that can lead to a number of health problems. Reading articles like this one: https://www.certapet.com/arthritis-in-dogs/, can help you to avoid dog arthritis, which can be a demanding condition to treat when you’ve got a baby at home. A healthy dog is easier to manage, so make sure you stay on top of it.
Be a great multi-tasker
Moms soon learn how to juggle several things at once, and baby and dog are no different. While you’re feeding the baby, pet the dog at the same time or throw a ball back and forth. Even having your dog in the same room can make a difference, and they’ll soon adjust to having a baby around. Remember to reward them for good behavior - a supply of homemade dog treats is a must!
Juggling your fur baby and your newborn isn’t always easy, but you’ll soon adapt into a routine that works for all of you. Try different things until you discover what works for you and you’ll soon have it nailed for the perfect family life.