Welcoming a baby into your home is an exciting and often overwhelming experience. Just as you adjust to life with another family member, so does your dog. Your pup might feel disregarded or starved for attention when the baby arrives. Discover how to keep your pup happy even when your focus turns to your new addition.
Make a Gentle Introduction
You probably don't want a dog in your baby's face when you first bring your little one home. However, you do want your pup to become familiar with your newest family member. Many people bring a baby blanket from the hospital home so that the dog can get used to the baby's scent. You can even do this before baby comes home, giving your possibly confused pooch a chance to figure out what is happening. When the time is right -- perhaps when your baby is sleeping or feeding -- let your pup smell your baby's feet. This introduction will help your pup get used to the newest family member.
Stick to Your Routine
Life certainly changes when you bring your baby home, but your pup still needs some attention too. By sticking to your typical routine with your dog, you're sending the message that its life won't be dramatically changed by the new addition. You might need help feeding and exercising your pup in the first few weeks home with your baby, but regular mealtimes and walks can keep your pup happy even if your attention is focused elsewhere.
Find Some Entertainment
Your dog isn't your primary focus after the baby arrives, but you can still keep your pup entertained. You might opt to invest in a dog walker temporarily or ask a friend, family member, or neighbor to help get your pooch some exercise. A trip to the local dog park or even a once-a-week visit to doggie daycare can help your pup socialize and get out of the house. If your dog is having fun, it will be less impacted by the arrival of the baby.
Your pooch might have been your first child, but your focus certainly shifts when a new baby arrives. By keeping your pet happy and entertained, you can ease the transition for your furry friend. There's an adjustment period after a baby arrives for all family members, canines included, but you can help your dog adjust easily.