Your puppy may have been your first “child.” But soon, your fur baby will no longer be an only child.
It’s only natural for you to worry about how well your pooch will get along with the new arrival. Your dog has probably had almost all of your attention for the last few years. Also, a new baby is going to bring a whole bunch of new sights, sounds and smells into your home.
Your dog is going to have to get used to all this. And here’s how you can help them do it.
Preparing the Home
You probably did extensive puppy-proofing before you brought your pooch home. You did things like removing any low dangers that your dog may find, or picking up some PawPad dog bed covers to protect against accidents.
There is a lot of overlap between puppy-proofing and baby-proofing your home. You’re covering outlets, you’re removing hazardous chemicals, you’re securing cabinets and windows. Adding barriers and baby gates can also help you control the traffic in your home.
As the new baby’s stuff seems to spill over into every inch of your home, ensure that your dog still has a safe space that they can call their own. Most often, this is the room that holds their crate or bed, or a quiet spot like a couch or favourite chair.
Preparing Your Puppers for Pokes
Babies poke dogs. We don’t know why, but they do. It’s one of the great universal truths of our world.
This could end poorly if your dog isn’t used to it, so it’s best to get them used to it as early as possible. This will require a bit of training. In your most playful and cheery voice, gently poke your dog and say, “what was that?” Do the same for gentle ear and fur pulling. Make it a game, and reward them with their favourite treats for not getting too bothered.
Now, your dog is expecting a treat after a gentle poke or pull, instead of being startled or annoyed by it. This will make a huge difference.
Working on Their Manners
Your dog’s ability to respond to your vocal commands will go a long way in trying to stay in charge of a chaotic house. Make sure they have all of the fundamentals, like:
- “Leave it”
- Coming when called
Teaching them to greet people politely and without jumping up will also go a long way to making your dog a great member of the growing household.
This is also a good time to ensure they can get fully comfortable in their crate, bed or the family bed if that’s where they sleep. It’s nice for them to have that place to escape to when things get too loud and crazy in the home… If only you got to do the same.
It’s your job to ensure that your baby and dog get along. However, if you do the work and diligently prepare your pooch for the new arrival, it will mean a lot less work and stress later on.
Dogs do have a very strong sense of family. Your dog will soon assume the role of your baby’s big brother/sister and protector. And the two of them together will make some of the more adorable pictures you will ever take.