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I'm probably jumping the gun a little bit here but I'm 14 weeks pregnant and am beginning to wonder how bringing a baby home in July will affect our dog.
Our dog is a 15 month cockerpoo (he'll be 22 months when the baby comes) and I'd hate for him to feel pushed out in anyway.
Having spoken to family friends about the subject everyone has said to make sure the dog has a good look at and sniff of the baby as soon as it comes home and also to make him feel included but I'm wondering if anyone here has any other advice or thoughts on the subject?
Are there things that we could be doing now to make the transition easier for him?
The advice from my vet is too avoid changes of routine when the baby arrives. Phase in any changes now e.g.
As you will have less time for the dog when the baby arrives, start to ignore the dog for certain periods now, and get the dog used to being fed and walked by someone else. You can increase your contact time with the dog again after the baby arrives, so that the dog will associate the baby with you giving more not less attention.
If certain rooms in the house will be out of bounds when the baby arrives, make them out of bounds now.
Move bed, bowls etc to somewhere away from the baby zone now.
Remember, never ever leave your dog unsupervised with the baby (even if it is the softest friendliest dog on the planet) and respect the dog's space. Babies are noisy and unpredictable, and can irritate even the most placid dog.
I don't think you're jumping the gun at all - as worsestershiresauce says you need to make any changes now.
I'm expecting DC1 any day now and have 2 labs - I read "Tell Your Dog You're Pregnant" by Lewis Kirkham - loads of good suggestions in there and comes with a CD, too.
We bought and set up baby stuff (pram, bouncer, moses basket etc) quite early on - the dogs were interested in it all at first but it's been around so long they don't notice now. We've also been working on them not shredding cuddly toys. Can you imagine the trauma - baby's favourite cuddly disembowled by two labs? Eek!
You are definitely right to think about things now.
I did a lot before our baby was born and didn't have any trouble with two dogs, one of which had been known to bite in the past.
Firstly we put stair gates any places we felt we may need to restrict the dogs and started getting them used to being excluded. I also taught a settle command, which meant go away and lie down. Every time I used this, I ignored the dogs completely and when they went off, threw a treat to them, they picked this up,very quickly.
A month or so before my due date, I got a recording from my NCT teacher of a baby crying. I had to record it a bit more, as it was only short, but then I would play this on low when they were eating, gradually getting them used to the sound, when something positive was happening. I also played this upstairs and they quickly ignored it.
I also carried. blanket held like. baby around with me on occasions and wouldn't let them near it, telling them to go way and settle. They sort of understood when I had the blanket they wouldn't get any attention.
Finally, when dd was norm, dp brought home a babygro and let the dogs sniff her smell, leaving it on the chair, so she wouldn't smell strange.
When we came home we had her in a carrychair and let them sniff her and once in the house put her on the table and made a big fuss of the dogs.
We never had any problems with them being jealous at all.