It’s a part of our birth plan we often overlook. Our pets that receive loads of attention prior to baby’s arrival now have to deal with a new person in the home. This transition, doesn’t have to be difficult, we have some tips that aim to help and make it easy to introduce your dog to your baby.
A lot of the families we serve have longtime pets as part of their family prior to the arrival of their new bundle and we have spoken to some of them and gathered some tips on how they brought in the newborn while not stressing their family pet.
Your first step is to plan in advance. Is your child’s future nursery your dog’s favorite spot in the house? Based on how you feel about that, you may want to start transitioning your pet to a just as nice area of the house outside of the nursery so they can start acclimating to a new spot for their many daily naps.
Dogs are extremely smart, according to Pedigree.com dogs are able to sense changes (which speaking from experience I have witnessed myself). Your dog can can literally “smell” that you are pregnant, Pedigree states that “when a woman becomes pregnant, her body chemistry changes. This, in turn can cause a distinct odor (and odor her dog knows intimately)”. With this being said, your dog already senses a change, start planning in your head what your daily routine is now with your dog and what it may look like after you introduce your dog to your baby. For example; does your dog sleep in your bed, perhaps in between you and your partner? this may require some adjustment especially if you plan to breastfeed while in bed as well as safely co-sleep. A compromise could be- moving the dog to the foot of the bed, and start this training way prior to your estimated due date.
Lastly, a great suggestion that came from one of our clients is to locate a doggy daycare or boarding facility that you feel comfortable with in the event you are delivering in a hospital and will be away for a few days. This will eliminate added stress on your partner, worrying about running home to walk or feed the dog during your labor, shortly after delivery or while still recovering in hospital. Our client also added they decided to leave their dog at the doggy daycare for extended boarding for an after being discharged from their hospital to allow them time to settle in to their home with they new baby and to make sure their pet received all the attention they normally receive once they picked them up. Once the dog was brought back in the home, they set it up so that the baby “arrived” after the dog was settled as to not not make the dog feel that this new person had invaded their longtime home.
We hope these tips help you introduce your dog to your baby, as always feel free to reach out during your prenatal, or postpartum period we are here for you, all with-