How to Prepare Your Dog for Baby
If you’re like me, pets are a part of the family. I am a crazy dog mom and wanted to make sure our dog, Queso, was just as prepared as I was to welcome a new baby into the home. I truly believe dogs can sense our emotions, and Queso could definitely tell change was coming his way when I was pregnant. Even though every dog is different, I figured it wouldn't hurt to try easing Queso into his new life with a baby sister anyway I could!
The first time Queso knew something was up was when we were preparing the nursery. He mayyyy have marked his territory immediately upon setting up the crib. That moment is when I knew we needed to start researching ways to help him feel more comfortable when there would be an actual baby in that crib!
- Bring home a baby-scented item from the hospital and give to your dog before the baby comes home.
It's hard to know if this works, but it was fairly easy to give a baby blanket from the hospital to our parents to take back home to Queso so he could experience all the new baby smells just as we were.
- Play sounds of babies crying while your dog is eating.
This one was a little weird, but I think it worked! I wish we tried it before the baby came home, but I had no idea that this would be an issue beforehand. The first few nights the baby was home, it was Queso who kept us up more than the little one because he kept barking at the bassinet (a concerned sibling I suppose)!
I read a tip that said to play baby crying noises whenever your dog is eating so he associates it with a positive thing. We played a YouTube video a few times a couple days in a row and he stopped worrying about the baby soon thereafter. I also realize it could be that he finally understood the baby wasn’t going anywhere;)
- Greet the dog alone first and keep him/her on a leash when introducing the baby.
When bringing the baby home from the hospital, we had one person greet Queso alone first, so he could get his excitement and jumping out of the way. Then we brought in the baby and had him on a leash, so he could smell the baby, but be under our close control.
The problem was, when we left the hospital, the traffic was so bad it added on an additional 20 minutes to the drive that we didn't account for. We thought we'd make it home before the baby was hungry (rookie mistake), but she ended up crying upon arrival and Queso was immediately stressed. So, I recommend trying a much calmer approach for the first introduction!
At the end of the day, just because you're having a baby doesn't mean you'll forget about your fur-babies! They’ll just need some adjustment in the up-front but watching them become best friends is what makes all of that work absolutely worth it!