Congratulations! You are expecting a baby and soon you will welcome this little bundle of joy into your family. Magic moments are on the horizon and, of course, a few moments of stress and uncertainty. The arrival of a newborn is both wonderful and a bit stressful for parents. Right now, you have a million things on your mind and if you have a dog, you are probably wondering how he will react to this new tiny human in his life. All these questions are normal! Don’t worry, you will be an awesome parent! But what about your four-legged companion? Will he be able to adapt? Good preparation will go a long way to ensure a smooth transition. With a little bit of planning you will be able to get your pooch ready for his new life, well before baby shows up.
Slowly Adapt Your Dog’s Routine
With a baby at home, your routine may change a bit, especially during the first few months. Of course, the same goes for your dog. You may have less time and maybe a little less energy to play or take long walks (and that’s totally normal!). On top of that, it is likely that your days will no longer be as planned as before. While it’s important to keep your pet’s routine relatively stable to avoid unwanted anxiety-related behaviour, getting him used to small changes in his schedule a few months before the baby arrives can really help. For example, slightly vary his meal times, push back his walk by a few minutes, shorten play time a little, etc. Of course, we are not talking about drastically changing his routine. The idea is simply for your dog to become comfortable with a less regular schedule. This way, it will probably be easier for him to adapt to the big and small changes that are likely to come with family life.
Ask for Help
If you still feel worried and you are concerned that your dog will react to his new life, or if your dog has the energy level of the Energizer Bunny, make sure you have people around to support you. The help of friends or family members can make a big difference. They can be responsible to feed your furry friend for the first few days until you come home, or to take him out for a little walk or even babysit your pooch when you are in the hospital. Determine a schedule in advance of who will come and at what time and make a short survival guide outlining your dog’s habits for the people who will look after him. Prepare a bag with his leash and familiar objects that will reassure him if he needs to be away from home for a few days. If your family doesn’t live close to you or cannot help you with your four-legged friend , consider hiring a dog walker who can walk your dog when you can’t. He will greatly appreciate the exercise!
A Visit to the Vet
The last thing you want is to have to deal with a newborn and a sick dog. A few months before your due date, it’s a good idea to bring your pet to the clinic for a check up. Even if he seems healthy, it’s a good way to make sure nothing is wrong and take care of any health concerns if necessary. You can take advantage of your visit to ask questions to your veterinarian. He can advise you on how to prepare your dog for the arrival of the baby. Keep in mind that in most cases, the adaptation goes smoothly and with a little bit of time, your pup and your toddler will probably become the best friends in the world.
All the best in this new chapter of your life!