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7 Things a Mom Should Know While Raising a Baby with a Dog

The idea of raising a baby alongside your dog may be exciting initially, but only a new mom understands how overwhelming it could get. Hence, here are a few tips to help you do this correctly.

1. Give Your Dog Its Own Space:

When the new baby arrives, do not assume that your dog will immediately understand it is its baby brother or sister. Your dog will be extremely confused and feel too many emotions at once. You may want to include the dog with the baby as much as possible. But if your dog wishes to be left alone or needs space, you must respect that.

You must understand that your dog's whole world has turned upside down with the new baby's arrival. Dogs love their privacy at times. The dog needs its own space to retreat where it can feel safe. Identify your dog's favourite spot, and do not change anything about that space. Let the dog have some privacy until it is comfortable around the baby.

2. Clean the House Regularly:

When you have a pet at home, your house is bound to get dirty. When you have a fur baby at home, dog hair on the floor may be an everyday thing you must have gotten used to. The floor must always remain clean with a small baby in the house. This is tough to maintain, especially with your busy schedule if you do not get help. Fortunately, you can always get a robot vacuum cleaner to clean the floors for you regularly. 

Bathing your dog regularly can help remove loose fur and dirt from its coat. This helps keep the house cleaner. Using the best dog shampoo for smelly dogs and giving your dog a bath at least twice a month can help keep the home much cleaner, which is essential for the baby.

3. Do Not Disturb the Dog's Schedule:

Most new parents have a drastic shift in their schedule due to the new baby's arrival. They do not know the difference between day and night as they are busy feeding the hungry baby and changing its diapers. Parents get exhausted while caring for their newborn child, which also means they may lose track of time.

However, dogs like to follow a strict schedule and do not appreciate it when it gets disturbed. This is very important even when you are extremely busy. It is understandable for you to not have the time to take the dog for a walk. Hence, even before the arrival of the baby, arrange for a dog walker so that your dog gets used to walking with someone else. It will help your dog stay on schedule, even when you are super busy with the baby.

4. Implement a No-Jumping Policy:

If your dog has the habit of jumping on people to gain their attention, it must be discouraged during pregnancy. This will ensure the dog becomes used to the no-jumping rule before the baby arrives. This means you will not be concerned about the dog jumping on the baby at any point.

5. Give the Dog a Lot of Attention During the Baby's Presence:

After the baby's arrival, you will be exhausted, and giving your dog some time or attention will be the last thing on your mind. Giving your dog extra attention is essential as you have turned its life upside down by bringing a new sibling into the house.

It does not matter how tired you are; you must give your dog all the love and attention during the time you care for the baby. Do not make the dog wait till the baby is asleep. You can always pet the dog while feeding the baby. Have conversations with the dog as much as possible. The last thing you want is for the dog to be jealous of the baby due to lack of attention.

6. Keep The Baby's Toys Out Of The Dog's Reach:

As there is a new baby in the house, you will be getting a lot of toys for the baby. The dog may not understand it and assume it is his toy. It is essential to keep the baby's toys apart from the dogs. Both babies and dogs have the tendency to put toys in their mouths. Their toys should be kept separate at all times. Getting your dog extra toys may help in this situation to keep it occupied. But still, there are chances that the dog chews up the baby's toys. Hence, you should always keep them out of the dog's reach. Installing a playpen in the house for the baby may be the best way to keep a baby's toys out of the dog's reach.

7. Teach the baby to be gentle with the dog:

While training your dog to behave around the baby is one thing., you should also teach your baby how to behave well around the dog. The baby is not going to know how to treat the dog. It may try to play with the dog by pulling on its tail, which will cause the dog to snap at the baby. You need to avoid such encounters at all costs. Your baby needs to be taught to be gentle with the dog. It watches you and learns; hence, every time the dog is around, pet it gently before the baby to teach him or her. Your baby will mimic and learn from you and be gentle with the dog.

The Bottom Line:

I have encountered several couples who consider their dog the center of the universe until they get pregnant and have their own baby. Suddenly the dog gets ignored or sidelined. The dog gets confused and depressed as the owners ignore it because of the new responsibility. This behaviour is not acceptable and should be discouraged. 

Adding a new member to the family does not mean the position of an existing member should change. Every new parent should understand this who owns a dog. You do not have to push out the dog from the inner circle to integrate the baby into the family. Every member can have its own place in the family tree, and your baby and the dog can grow side by side like siblings.