How to Prepare Your Dog for a New Baby: Tips for Expectant Parents

Preparing for parenthood comes with a lot of planning, discussing, and preparing. There are rooms to prepare, things to buy, and books to read. Oh, and don’t forget about your furry friend! Preparing your dog for a new baby is an important part of the preparations. Below we discuss important things to consider when preparing your dog for a new baby.

Establish Rules

Becoming a parent means establishing rules and expectations for your child to ensure their safety and help them grow.  The same should be done for your dog! Having rules and expectations established is important so you can maintain a happy baby, a happy dog, and a happy household. 

How do you establish rules for your dog and baby? We made a list of questions to help you brainstorm:

  • Will the baby’s room be off-limits and for how long?
  • What will the baby’s feeding schedule look like and how should your dog behave during feeding?
  • When the baby cries, how do you want your dog to behave or respond?
  • Is your pup crate trained and would it help maintain desired nighttime behavior?

Developing answers to these questions is the first step in establishing rules and expectations for your dog’s behavior. Once you do that, it’s important to train your dog in the desired behaviors. Investing in some distraction training for your canine can be exceptionally helpful in establishing these behavior expectations. Distraction training teaches dogs how to handle distractions in real-life scenarios, much like the ones they will experience when the new baby arrives. Consider whether you want to attempt to train your pooch on your own or if you’d rather invest in a dog training course to make expectations clear and easy.

Practice Routines

Just like humans, dogs thrive in routine. This means when their routine abruptly changes, they may get confused, overwhelmed, or upset, just like we do! When dogs feel this way, they may act out and misbehave, which can be stressful with a new baby on the way. That’s why helping your dog adjust to new routines is important, and starting to train them before the baby arrives helps to ease the transition. Just like with anything, teaching dogs a new routine takes time, consistency and proper training. Make sure you invest in training your dog before your newborn arrives.

Introduce New Sights and Smells

Dogs’ sense of smell is estimated to be 10,000 to 100,000 times stronger than their owners’. That means that your dog knows all of the smells in your home and is familiar with all of its typical odors. When a baby is introduced to the home, a slew of new sights and smells are introduced, too. Because of this, dogs can become frightened, anxious, or even territorial. In order to prevent a panic in your pet, start introducing them to baby smells long before the baby arrives. As you accumulate things for your child’s arrival–blankets, bassinets, and bibs–introduce the items to your dog. Show your pup the new object and have them give it a good sniff. Doing this several months before baby’s arrival allows your dog to acclimate to the new sight and smells, helping them feel more at ease when the baby arrives.

Landheim K9 Can Help!

If you are overwhelmed with how to best prepare your dog for your baby’s arrival or aren’t sure what training methods work best, contact the professionals at Landheim K9 for help. Call us at 219-365-8897 and we can provide you with a training course that’s right for you and your dog. With over 50 years of dog training experience, you can trust that your dog will be prepared for the baby’s arrival.

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