If you are playing the role of expectant mom or dad and pet owner, then its important to prepare your entire household, including your dog for baby's arrival. Here are some safety tips to ease your mind and make the baby's homecoming easy for everyone, including Fido.
1. Obedience Training 101. Consider a enrolling your dog in obedience classes prior to the baby's arrival. It is important that your dog understand basic commands like sit, down, come & stay. Also, if your dog has a bad habits of jumping up this should also be dealt with.
2. Clean bill of health. It important that you bring your new born child into a clean & healthy environment. Make sure your dog gets his preventive annual vet checkup before the baby arrives home from the hospital. Routine vet checkups will ensure your dog is free of parasites & other health problems that may pose a risk to you, Fido & your child's.
3. Let your dog explore your baby's toy box & nursery. Under your supervision let your dog get use to the sights, smells and sounds of a baby in advance. Allow your dog to sniff baby blankets and hear the sounds of rattles and other baby toys.
4. Let your dog sniff your baby's binky. Before bringing your baby home from the hospital, send home a blanket or gown that the baby has been wrapped in. This will get your dog used to the baby's scent.
5. Welcome home mom! Let dad carry the baby inside at your homecoming, so your hands are free to happily greet your overexcited dog. To avoid a jealous pup make sure you give your dog some attention upon arrival.
8. PRAISE, PRAISE, PRAISE! It important that your dog associates positive praise & encouragement with being around the baby. Your dog will be on his or her best behavior when he realizes that praises & treats comes with being around baby.
9. Cry Baby! Train your dog not to bark every time the baby cries. Reassure your dog that crying is a normal part of being a baby. Use positive reinforcement in the form of encouraging words, treats, or hug as a reward for good behavior.
10. Make time for bonding. Although life may get busy & overwhelming with a new baby in the home it is still important to spend time with Fido. A quick game of fetch or cuddle time with your dog while the baby is napping will help to keep the peace in the home & keep a jealous pup at bay. You can also take your dog for a daily walk with baby in sling or stroller.
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