Time and again, people have told you that getting a dog would be sort of a preparation for when you finally have kids. That is true, to an extent. Having a pet means you’re responsible for another creature’s well being. Yet unlike a baby, a dog can live on its own.But once you do put that dog in your house, it will be your duty to feed him, train him, clean him, and even occasionally pamper him with toys and accessories.
It won’t be surprising if the dog becomes the center of your world. And your dog would probably feel the same way too. So when you finally have an offspring of your own, it may take a bit of practice to let your pet know that this new playmate should be treated with care. Since a baby is a bit more fragile, rough play with the dog is out of the equation.
Your best move would be to prepare the dog. After all you have nine months to get used to an idea of having a child, so train your dog during this time. Make sure that he knows that you are his master, so the commands, as well as the dynamics of your master-pet relationship, will already be set once the baby is born.
It would be fun to try to get your dog to play with dolls first. Dolls are great toys to practice with your dog, so he can learn how a baby is to be treated. You can order an American Girl doll and get a coupon for American Girl free shipping to save on shipping or delivery. Since they look more anatomically realistic than the average Barbie, these American Girl dolls would be helpful in this exercise.
Aside from that, let the dog feel a positive experience in situations that involve your newborn. Since a dog feels the emotions of his owner, he will mirror you. Don’t be nervous when you bring the baby home for the first time. The dog will sense your nervousness and might mistake it for anxiety in an unsafe situation. Be relaxed and greet your dog as you usually do. You want your dog to think that the baby you’re carrying is a source of joy and positive energy, and not a danger that he needs to defend you from.
This calm demeanor is also important when you let the dog meet your baby. This event should be carefully planned, as you don’t want to scare both your child and your pet. You may want to let your dog meet your baby right away or you may want to wait for a later time. Whatever you choose, just remember that you’re in control of communicating with your dog –let him know that this little human you’re always carrying around is a new friend. You can use some of the tips found in this article about dog obedience training.
It is important to set boundaries around the nursery as well. The last thing you want is to be worried at night whether or not the dog is bothering your sleeping child. Let your dog know that the items in the crib are not for him to play with – no mixing of saliva, please! Creating boundaries for the dog will let him know that the baby is to be respected.
Though your child’s safety always comes first, don’t forget about your dog. Let him know that having a new baby in your life does not mean that he is not important anymore. Incorporate the dog’s activities in your new schedule and you’ll soon find that the dog and your child are already best of friends.