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Dog and new baby…getting along famously

With the right preparation, bringing a dog and new baby together should pose no problems at all. Of course, it is always an exciting time bringing a new baby into the world, but sometimes a dog won't share your enthusiasm.

All change

Your life will change once you bring your new baby home and inevitably, the life your dog leads will have to changes as well. He will be used to all of your attention and even though you won't consciously mean to your focus will now be on the new baby.

Some dogs adapt quickly and take on roles of protector and guardian while others respond more slowly and need some help getting comfortable in the new family situation.

One of the potential trouble areas is the sleeping location. If he sleeps on the bed with you make another cosy spot for him to sleep. Find something to put into the new location that reminds him of you so he feels happy and safe. It sometimes takes a few weeks to make the change but be persistent. Your dog will eventually learn and be comfortable with his new bed.

Familiarity and contentment

Your dogs' walking routine is likely to change so it may be worth taking out the buggy before the baby arrives so he gets used to it. It is also a good idea to change the pace of your walk to match how you would expect to walk with your baby.

It's a good idea to let your dog go into the babies' room before the happy event so that he gets used to all of the new baby smells and things in there, especially if the room was somewhere that he used to spend a lot of time.

Introductions need to be calm with your new little one and your dog. Keep your dog on the lead and let him have a little sniff and just sit by the baby. All good behaviour should be rewarded with praise. Bad behaviour, such as growling or tugging at the lead needs to be reprimanded firmly. With a tight lead, make him sit until he calms down, he will quickly know where he stands.

Never leave your dog alone with your baby and just keep observing his behaviour until you are confident that he has become comfortable.

New Babies are a big adjustment for everyone including your pets. With just a little bit of help, even a jealous dog will adapt and continue to be a good, sociable companion for the household.

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