Baby & Dog

Dealing with a New Baby and a Dog: A Guide for Moms

You’ve welcomed a new bundle of joy into the family, and it is no doubt one of the most exciting yet daunting moments of your life. It goes without saying that the new arrival is certainly going to change for the better, and your world will revolve around this new little being. Yet, if you own a dog, inviting a new baby into the home can become a worry. It’s natural for dogs to become jealous and more protective of their owners when they feel threatened by a new arrival, which can cause the household to become a stressful place.

Preparations should start in the months before the arrival so your dog can get used to a new routine and allow them to cope with the new baby.

1. New strategies for exercise

Following the birth of your baby, you may be in some minor discomfort, so going for long, strenuous walks may not be an option. One walk per day may be all that you can manage, and while you have a baby in tow, you should also aim to minimize pulling with the use of a harness — practicing walking with your dog alongside the pushchair weeks before the birth will be of benefit when the baby arrives, as they must learn to walk at your pace.

For your dog to get enough exercise when you’re relaxing with the baby at home, you could consider purchasing an automatic door from leading into the garden, which is designed to sense your dog’s movement for entering and exiting at their own leisure.

2. Understand the shift of attention

Your baby will now be taking up a great deal of your attention, which can have a mental impact on your dog. You will also have relatives, friends, and health visitors coming to see the baby, which means you won’t have the chance to spend as much time with your dog as you once did. Some dogs may find this change particularly difficult, especially if they have always spent a great deal of time with you. When people come to visit, you may find it easier to place your dog in a separate area, but it would be wise to practice this new procedure before the arrival to normalize the routine and prevent behavioral issues. Unwanted behavior may differ between breeds.

3. Keep your dog’s health in check

Always keep tabs on your dog’s physical health as being in pain and discomfort may make them more restless, snappy, and anxious. Any suspected illnesses should be taken care of immediately by reporting to your vet. When your dog is poorly, it can become even more of a burden and may make them less trustworthy around your baby. Regardless of how much faith you have in your dog’s temperament, you can never prepare for the unexpected. Understand when your dog is feeling under the weather and temporarily separate them from the baby while they recover.  

As a new mom to a baby and already one to a furry friend, take the above advice into consideration to ensure home life is as smooth as it can be.

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