LOS ANGELES, CA - With many young couples pouring their parental love and affection in to their pets, sometimes too little thought is usually given to how the dog will take to the sudden arrival of a child.
In a perfect world, dog owners have 16 months from the time they find out they are pregnant to the day their baby begins to crawl. That’s a lot of time to make sure your pooch knows what to expect. Here is what Michael Wombacher, author of “Good Dog, Happy Baby” says to do.
First and foremost you need to make changes in your dog’s life that they might find less than thrilling long before you have your baby. Otherwise, your dog will associate these changes with your baby’s arrival, and that could trigger an unhealthy competitive dynamic between them.
The second threshold rolls around when the baby approaches 8 months and begins crawling and grasping. You should work hard to condition the dog to awkward grabbing and pulling at sensitive body parts that the baby will inevitably dish out. It is also important to create a safe zone for your dog so it can retreat beyond the baby’s reach when stressed.
Additionally, you should teach your dog to distinguish between child toys and dog toys. Begin by getting dog toys that are significantly different in appearance from baby toys. You may even want to dab a little Listerine on all baby toys and teach your pup that the scent of Listerine means “do not touch.”
Oh and don’t forget to enjoy your growing family!