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Posted on 01-10-2014

Bringing a new baby into your home is not only an extremely hectic and overwhelming time for human parents, but it also brings about stress on another member of your household, your dog. When preparing to bring home a baby you must remember that your dog will be facing many sights, sounds and smells that they may not be used to. Having a new baby will bring about changes in not only your daily routine, but also theirs. They will be getting less of your attention, which can be a very difficult time , especially if they have been an "only child".

To make things go as smoothly as possible, it is important to take the time to prepare your dog for the new arrival. In the months before the baby arrives, there are many things that you can do to prepare your dog.

  • Make sure your dog knows basic commands- sit, stay, down, no. Having your dog know these commands will allow you to be in control when your baby is in the room. Having your dog attend a behavior class to learn these commands is recommended before bringing in a new arrival.
  • Expose them to children before your baby comes. If your dog has never been around children before, invite friends with children over to allow them to get use to the noise and interactions. Make sure the environment is controlled and watch for any signs of aggression.
  • Knowing your dog's temperament is also extremely important. If your dog has ever snapped at anyone or shown aggression, a professional animal behaviorist should be sought for advice.
  • Let your dog get used to seeing you carry around a "baby". Wrap a doll in a blanket and carry it around so your dog will get used to it. This may also help adjust to any jumping issues they may have. It is also a good time to practice your basic commands while you role play various parent/ baby activities (tummy time, changing table).
  • Introducing your dog to the baby's scent is extremely important. If able, have someone bring home an unwashed piece of the baby's clothing or swaddling blanket before you bring the baby home so the dog has some time to adjust to their smell.
  • Keep an area of the house baby free. Knowing there is a "sanctuary" that is free of ear tugging and tail pulling will be really appreciated by your dog.

Congratulations on the new addition!

If there are any questions you may have regarding bringing home a new baby, please give our office a call at (610) 458-8789. We serve Chester Springs, Downingtown, Exton, Glenmoore and the surrounding areas

Written by Alyson Kelly, technician

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