Are you expecting a baby and worried about your dog getting jealous? Know that there is no feeling of jealousy as such in a dog. He only gets used to the routine of his masters. When it is changed, he must adapt and take a new place in the family hierarchy. Just as you prepare before the birth of your baby, it is necessary to know how to prepare your dog for your newborn baby.
How to prepare your dog for your newborn baby?
It is important to change your dog’s habits before your baby is born. If you do not, your dog could engage in unwanted behaviors. Also, remember to correct your dog’s bad habits before the arrival of your child to reduce your stress regarding the possible reactions of your animal.
To prepare your dog, give him little by little less time and attention, but without neglecting him. You ought to slowly adopt a timetable that will take after as much as possible the one you will after the baby arrives. You can include your dog in certain activities and at specific times when he will have your attention (e.g. meals, outings, etc.). He will be used to it when you have to devote most of your time to your baby.
Even before your baby is born, it is also recommended to teach your dog whether or not he can go into the baby’s room. There are two viewpoints on this:
Let your dog accompany you into the baby’s room, but don’t allow him to go there without you. However, he must not leave the room with an object that belongs to the baby. Also, avoid baby toys that look like your dog’s. Forbid your dog to go into the baby’s room. Make him understand this prohibition by saying “no” rather than using an obstacle such as a door, which you might forget to close one day. It is also important to create a place in the house reserved for your dogs, such as a space with his cushion and his favorite toys
How to introduce a baby to a dog?
Wait for the dog to come to you when you come home with your newborn. You must welcome your dog as usual, without pushing him away. Introduce him to your baby. Depending on your dog’s reaction, gently approach your child by presenting the legs or feet, never the face. You can let your dog smell it. If he jumps towards you, however, you will need to isolate him until he calms down. This behavior should ideally be corrected in the months leading up to the baby’s arrival.
Bring your dog with you when you walk with the stroller. He will get utilized to this novel way of doing things and will not feel left out. It is significant to get him familiar with walking on a leash, without pulling, close to you. Do not fasten the leash to the stroller.
Be calm with your dog. It ought not to be a source of anxiety for you.
If your dog growls at your baby, move them away from each other and try to figure out the reason for the growling. A dog that growls communicates discomfort or unease. So this is normal behavior. If you correct your dog, he will learn that growling is forbidden, and the next time he feels discomfort or unease, he might bite without warning. Make sure the taming happens very gradually and positively. Do not hesitate to be accompanied by a canine educator.
How to contribute to the good behavior of your dog?
Make sure you always provide good care for your dog. A sufficient amount of food and water contributes to the good behavior of your pet. Adequate veterinary care is also an important prevention against certain transmissible diseases, which are easy to prevent. Do not be hesitant to ask your vet if you have any concerns or questions.
Continue to offer your pet periods of attention by doing activities with him that will stimulate him physically but also mentally (eg: searching for objects in the house, detecting odors).
Always praise your dog’s good behavior. In general, pet and reward your dog more in the presence of your baby. He will thus associate his presence with a pleasant context.
To decrease the dog’s aggression and excitement, the National Companion Animal Coalition strongly suggests neutering the dog.
You can take dog training courses. Promote schools that encourage good behavior with rewards rather than those that punish bad behavior. The latter talk more about dog training than canine education.
Before the birth of your child, it is important to gradually reduce the time and attention given to your dog, but without abandoning it.
If the dog is not prepared for the arrival of the baby, it could adopt undesirable behaviors.
Giving good care to the animal and feeding it well contribute to its good behavior.