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Advice on getting my dog ready for the arrival of baby

(6 Posts)
Saffra Tue 21-Jun-11 09:08:16

I'm 6 months pregnant and would like some advice on the need to prepare a dog for the arrival of a baby.

I have a well socialised 3 yr old labradoodle with a very affectionate temperament. Currently, she sleeps in our bedroom or on the landing (depending on where we place her bed). She's allowed on the couch for cuddles, and gets lots of walks/runs, as well as attention from both DH and I. As a labradoodle, she is very energetic, can get excited easily, and has that characteristic bounciness - although she's now pretty good at not jumping on people, etc. She's great with kids, although she's not had any contact with babies as such. She's never shown any aggression.

I don't particularly want to change anything that we're doing when the baby comes along, but realise that there are probably small things that I can do to avoid any possible issues.

Pls advise?

Joolyjoolyjoo Tue 21-Jun-11 09:13:32

I don't actually think you need to do anything! If there is going to be an area that you won't want her to be in when the baby arrives (eg baby's room) then I suppose you could get her used to staying out of that area, but other than that, I wouldn't worry smile

When the baby arrives, introduce gently, be sensible, and make sure she still gets her walks and fair share of attention. Probably, as far as the dog is concerned, it will be more difficult to ensure her life doesn't change too much. My dogs got far longer and better walks when I had babies, as I was on mat leave, it was an ideal way to get baby to sleep, and because I felt guilty about them feeling "left out" (daft blush)

Saffra Tue 21-Jun-11 09:14:02

Oh, also MIL has offered to take her for a short period (maybe 3-5 nights?) when the baby is first born and we get back from the hospital. Because our dog has a lot of energy, she does need a fair bit of walking/off lead runs every day.

Although this would certainly make life easier for us, I am concerned that the dog will feel displaced and it's probably better to get her introduced to the baby and routine straight away.

Any thoughts on this?

AllTheYoungDoods Tue 21-Jun-11 11:58:21

Same situation here (albeit a younger, crazier dog!).

Other advice we've been given is to make sure dog gets used to baby accessories (pram etc) in good time, maybe even practice walking the pram with the dog before the baby comes (although I have superstition issues about that!). And play crying baby sounds (apparently you can get CDs, but I've just used snippets from YouTube) to acclimatise your dog.

If she was crate trained maybe make sure she is still happy to go into her crate occasionally, just in case you need her to in future.

Interestingly I held a friend's newborn the other day and doodle was very keen to smell the crook of my arm where he'd been, but was very calm about it, so I'm hoping that bodes well.

silentcatastrophe Tue 21-Jun-11 12:24:00

I expect you'll be fine. Our dogs ate a lot of nappies. Yum yum. Just make sure the dog is included in procedings. If someone else is taking the dog out for walks, it would be a good idea to start now, so there is no big change when the baby arrives. Our dogs were allowed to sniff things the baby had used, like towels and blankets, and allowed to come close to have a look, and snuggle up together

wadadlis Wed 22-Jun-11 13:19:48

Hi, we got a cocker spaniel puppy in July 2007 as we never thought we would have a baby....and hey presto by June 2008 our son was born! So really the dog was only a puppy when DS arrived. We played her (dog) baby sounds e.g. crying, she didn't bat an eyelid and wasn't bothered when DS came home. But we were a bit worried about her over (puppy) exuberance and so put DS in his travel cot in the living room when not being held (we have an open plan house) to protect him from big spaniel feet - she would never have harmed him deliberately but she does tend to trample a bit! DS lay on his playmat in there, so it suited us fine. Also, dog is black and white so perfect for new born development as she danced around outside the cot! Also, we were advised by our kennel club breeder never to push the dog away from DS, but instead try to involve her. Bit tricky, but we basically stopped the dog from licking DS all over by telling her she could 'kiss' his feet - in an ideal world no dog would have licked my precious newborn son at all but I figured his feet were pretty safe. DS liked it too, guess it tickled.
Now DS is coming up to 3, and dog and boy get on like a house on fire. We rely a lot on a local dog walker, especially when it's raining! I'd say they are essential, but perhaps you have someone else you can call on when necessary.
Good luck!

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