With becoming pregnant or recently having a baby cited as the 6th most common reason why dogs are relinquished to a major animal welfare charity in 2018, Komu co-founder and Wild at Heart adopter, Sarah, wanted to share her top tips on how you can prepare your dog to meet your newborn baby so that you all remain one big, happy family.
Having a baby is a big event for the whole family, and when we found out we were expecting my partner and I really wanted to make sure that Yvie our WAHF rescue dog was prepared for the changes that were coming. This was one of the reasons we worked with a dog behaviourist to create a section in our Postnatal Digital Kit to cover this topic.
We were aware that it would be easier for everyone if we spent a little bit of extra time training Yvie and helping her get ready for the changes in her routine as well as new sights, smells and sounds that may upset her.
Here is some of my top advice to help your dog adjust:
Get them used to the reduced attention before your baby arrives by separating them from you, for short periods of time every day, in the lead up to the birth.
If they are going to be kept out of certain rooms i.e. the baby’s room, start doing this as soon as possible by setting up baby gates ahead of time. This way they will feel comfortable well in advance of when you need them to.
Try not to overexcite or stress your dog by staying calm and relaxed when you bring your baby home.
Teach them how to approach the baby properly and gently. Allow them to make safe initial investigations and approaches under your supervision.
Give them treats and lots of praise when they behave well around the baby and try not to tell them off for what may have been natural behaviour before i.e. jumping up on the sofa.
Make sure that your dog has enough to do and is kept well exercised, even if it means considering a dogwalker for a while.
Make sure your dog must have a place that they feel safe and relaxed; somewhere that they can go to if things are getting too much for them.
Komu provides postnatal support to new parents through its range of Digital Kits which includes hours of video and audio content from Midwives and Postnatal experts to help them through those early days weeks and months with their newborn. It also has a special Mini Digital Kit which focuses on preparing your dog and includes:
Preparing your dog for the new arrival
What to do once your baby is here
How to manage the environment
What products to buy to ease the transition
A video to help you recognise the signs of stress in your dog
A downloadable audio clip of a baby crying to help your dog adjust to the new noises
Komu will donate 10% to Wild at Heart Foundation for every one of these Kits that are bought through this link