Bringing a new baby home is an exciting event. However, if you have a dog, it might not be happy about the new addition. In fact, you might find out that your dog is a bit jealous of the new addition. Don't panic. With some love and understanding, your dog should warm up to the baby in no time at all. Here are four simple tips you can use to help your dog warm up to the changes.
To avoid serious issues with jealousy, it's a good idea to start preparations before the baby is born. Here are a couple changes you can make that will make the changes less stressful.
Babies come with a lot of equipment. Instead of waiting until the baby arrives to set things up, try getting them ready a few weeks in advance. Things like swings, infant carriers and cribs should be set up so that your dog can get used to the new sights and sounds. If the baby swing makes noises, try turning it on several times a day to get your dog used to the sounds.
If your dog sleeps with you now but you plan on changing that after the baby arrives, it's better to make the changes before the baby comes home. You can prevent feelings of abandonment by allowing your dog time to get accustomed to the new arrangements.
Introduce the Scent First
You can help your dog prepare for the changes by introducing your dog to the new scent before you bring the baby home from the hospital. While the baby is still in the hospital, wrap it in a blanket. Bring the blanket home and allow your dog to smell it. Leave the blanket out in an area that's easily accessible to your dog. This will allow it to smell the blanket when it's comfortable doing so. By the time you bring your new baby home, your dog will be accustomed to the scent.
Avoid a Demotion
Your dog needs to know that it's still an important part of your life. Be sure to continue doing things that are important to your dog. For instance, if it's used to sitting with you, or going on walks at a certain time of day, try to continue those activities. This will prevent your dog from feeling suddenly left out of the family.
Avoid jealousy by preparing your dog for the new baby. The tips provided above will help you avoid hurt feelings and prepare your dog for the new addition to the family. If your dog becomes aggressive after you bring the baby home, be sure to speak to your veterinarian.
For a veterinarian in your area, consider an office such as Glen Erin Animal Hospital.