As expectant parents eagerly anticipate the arrival of their new baby, it’s important to remember that for our beloved dogs, this change can be a bit of a surprise. The new sights, sounds, and smells, along with shifts in routine and family dynamics, can be quite unsettling for our canine companions who may not fully understand what’s happening.
Fortunately, there are numerous ways to help prepare your dog for the upcoming arrival of your little one, ensuring they remain a valued and well-adjusted member of the family.
In this article, we provide tips and advice to help you pave the way for a smooth transition as you welcome your new baby into your home, navigating this essential transition and ultimately strengthening the loving connections between all family members – human and dog alike.
Preparing a dog for a new baby is crucial for any growing family
Preparing a dog for the arrival of a new baby is a vital step for any growing family. By taking the time to properly acclimate your dog to the changes that come with welcoming a little one, you can ensure a harmonious and safe environment for everyone involved.
This process not only fosters a strong bond between your dog and the new baby but also helps maintain a positive and nurturing atmosphere within your home.
Here are some practical tips and advice to ensure that your beloved pet becomes an excellent companion to your growing family.
Adapting your dog to home adjustments
As you prepare your home for the arrival of your new baby, it’s essential to help your dog become accustomed to the changes in their environment.
Start by gradually altering their routine to more closely resemble what it will be like after the baby’s arrival. This may involve adjusting feeding times, walk schedules, and even sleep arrangements.
In addition, introduce baby smells and noises to your dog by bringing home items like baby blankets or playing recordings of baby sounds. This will help your canine companion become more familiar with the new sensations they’ll experience once the baby is home.
Familiarising your dog with baby scents
Introducing baby-related scents to your dog before the arrival of your newborn is a great way to help them adjust. Start by using baby lotions, powders, and even the baby’s clothes to gently familiarise your dog with these new smells.
By incorporating these scents into your daily routine, your dog will begin to associate them with positive experiences and gradually become more comfortable with the changes to come.
Exposing your dog to baby sounds
Playing recordings of baby noises at home can help desensitise your dog to the unfamiliar sounds they will soon encounter. Start with low volume and gradually increase it over time, ensuring you reward and praise your dog for remaining calm during these sound sessions.
This gradual exposure will allow your dog to become more at ease with the sounds of a baby, such as crying or cooing.
Introducing baby gear and toys
As you set up baby equipment and toys around your home, allow your dog to explore and sniff these new items. This will help them become familiar with the presence of strollers, cribs, and playpens.
Remember to teach your dog boundaries around these items, so they understand which spaces are designated for the baby and which are for them.
Adjusting to household changes
With a new baby on the way, changes in your home environment are inevitable. Help your dog adapt by gradually introducing them to these alterations, such as rearranging furniture or setting up the nursery. This will allow your dog to adjust to the new layout and become more comfortable with its surroundings before the baby arrives.
Enhancing dog training and enrichment
Before the baby’s arrival, ensure that your dog’s basic obedience training is well-established. Brush up on commands like “sit,” “stay,” and “leave it,” to make it easier for you to manage your dog once the baby arrives.
Also, consider providing enrichment activities, such as puzzle toys or treat-dispensing toys, to keep your dog mentally stimulated and engaged during this transitional period.
Preparing your dog for the birth
As you get closer to the birth, start making arrangements to ensure your dog is well cared for during your absence. Consider asking a trusted friend or family member to look after your dog, or look into boarding options if necessary. Familiarise your dog with this temporary caregiver in advance to reduce stress and anxiety while you are away.
Our products can help your dog adjust to a new baby at home
As you follow the tips outlined above to establish healthy boundaries between your dog and the new baby, it’s essential to ensure your canine companion doesn’t feel forgotten or left behind. VetIQ offers a range of products designed to aid in this transition and support your dog’s overall well-being during the early days of parenthood.
Our Serene-UM calming supplements can help your dog relax more easily amid the inevitable bustle that comes with a newborn. By promoting a sense of calm and reducing anxiety, your dog will be better equipped to adapt to the changes in their environment.
Additionally, our Healthy Centres and Healthy Treats serve as the perfect way to remind your dog that they are still a cherished and special part of the family. These nutritious and delicious rewards can be used to reinforce good behaviour, maintain a positive relationship, and provide your dog with the attention they deserve during this time of adjustment.
At VetIQ, we’re committed to supporting you and your furry friends as you navigate life together, so be sure to check out our blog for more helpful advice and pet care tips.