You've spent months preparing for your baby's arrival, but don't forget about your four-legged friend. Most dogs are used to being the "baby" of the household and may need some extra help in adjusting to your new arrival. You can help your dog transition smoothly by making small changes along the way so he'll be ready when you bring home your bundle of joy. Here are some tips to help you introduce your dog to your new baby:
Start early. Begin to alter your dog's routine months before your due date. Gradually change his routine to what it will be like once baby arrives. This will help your dog get used to what life will be like once the baby is born.
Introduce the scent. Before you come home from the hospital with your baby, have someone bring a blanket with the baby's scent to your dog so he can sniff and become used to it.
The first meeting. Make sure that your dog is well exercised before you introduce him to baby. Have one parent hold the baby, while the other controls the dog on a leash.
Include your dog. Be sure to give your dog as much attention and affection that you can while the baby is around. Take your dog along with you when you go for walks with the baby.
Never leave an infant or toddler alone with a dog. Even the most trusted animal can react dangerously to a sudden scream or cry from your child.
For more information on how to be a responsible owner, visit www.MeetTheBreeds.com. For more tips on preparing for your new puppy, visit the AKC at www.akcdoglovers.com.