Preparing for your new arrival!

By Jessica Colson | new baby, baby, young, children, dog, puppy

Having a baby can be daunting enough, without the worry of how your pet dog may react. But for many this can be a real concern, and is something not to be taken lightly.

A 2013 survey of new parents by Dogs Trust and NCT revealed that nearly half (46%) found it challenging to cope with their dog and a new baby; whilst one in six (17%) had considered giving up their dog.

All dogs are individuals, and it can be difficult to predict how they might react to the        suddenly peculiar new sights, sounds and smells that a new baby brings. Not to mention the inevitable change in their routine.

But don’t worry—help is at hand!

Preparation is key!

It can be a worrying time, but there is lots you can do even before the baby is born.

Below are a few helpful tips on preparing your dog for the new arrival, and keeping little ones safe—from bump and beyond!

* Babies can bring in lots of scary new equipment to a dog’s environment—so help them adjust early on. Bring in things like cots, pushchairs, etc and get the dog used to the sight and smell of them BEFORE baby arrives.

* Consider getting a baby sounds CD to play at a low level (gradually increasing with time) - this will help get your dog used to all of those funny noises before baby is even born!

* Brush up on your dog’s basic training now, so you aren’t battling with them on a walk whilst struggling to push a pram. Consider training classes or expert help with any behavioural problems.

* Invest in some food toys (kongs, puzzle feeders, etc) to keep them happy while you are busy feeding baby.

* Start to implement any rule changes (such as no dogs on furniture) well in advance of the baby’s birth.

* Start to anticipate likely changes in your dog’s routine (feed times, walk times, etc) and gradually implement these before the baby’s arrival.

* Learn about body language so that you can read your dog and help them when they feel uncomfortable.

For the safety of your baby, ensure your dog’s vaccinations, flea and worm treatments are up to date