Prepare your dog for the arrival of a baby
9th August 2012
Whenever parents bring home a new baby for the first time one of their key considerations is how the older siblings are going to react to the arrival of a newborn, and many will take plenty of time and effort to help them adapt.
However, one family member who can be quite easily overlooked when it comes to the arrival of a baby in the household is the pet pooch.
Just like siblings, dogs can struggle to cope with the changes that invariably come with having a newborn in the house and can start to behave clingy or withdrawn as a result.
Therefore, it's a good idea to be prepared for this reaction from your pooch and take steps in the lead up to the birth to help them adapt to the fact their daily routine will change.
Speaking to the Dog Daily, dog behaviour expert Colleen Pelar, author of Living With Kids and Dogs … Without Losing Your Mind, recommends making any changes in your dog's lifestyle gradually.
For example, if you anticipate having to change the time you feed your pooch their dry dog food or that you'll have less time to fuss over them, start making these changes while you're pregnant.
"This way, the dog doesn't experience all these big changes at once and associate them with the baby's arrival," Colleen says.
It may also help to bring home the baby's cot, pram, playpen and highchair well in advance so that your dog has plenty of time to get used to the new furniture.
Finally, remember that this is a time that everyone in the family is adapting to a new lifestyle and routine, so don't become too stressed out if it seems that things aren't going perfectly once the baby arrives.
"There will be ups and downs, just like with siblings," Colleen adds. "As long as you keep it on the path that's mostly good, then you're succeeding."
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