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How to Prepare a Dog for a New Baby

howpreparedog.jpgIntroducing a new baby to a family that includes a dog can be a stressful experience for both parents and pet. While you may be wondering how your dog will react, whether it be with the proverbial ‘cold shoulder,’ or a more aggressive nip or scratch, your dog may feel displaced if you don’t take the necessary measures to ensure a smooth transition.

The following five tips will help you with how to prepare your dog for a new baby.

1. Make sure that your dog is up-to-date with his shots. Additionally, dogs that are spayed or neutered are less likely to act aggressively.

2. Accustom your dog slowly to decreased one-on-one time. Once the baby comes home, you will have less time to spend with your pet. You can reduce the amount of stress your dog feels if you train him to spend more time alone or with another family member.

3. Carry a doll with you while you assume daily activities so that your dog willbecome familiar with the presence of a new baby. Place the doll in a swing, carrier, or anywhere else that your dog is likely to encounter a baby. Likewise, play recordings of a baby crying so that your dog can become used to baby-related noises and decrease the amount of agitation he may feel.

4. Let your dog get used to the new baby’s scent by giving him an undershirt orblanket to sniff. Introduce him slowly to the new baby by having him sit next to you as you hold the baby. If your dog is prone to jumping, have someone else hold the baby in the same room as you give your dog one-on-one attention.

5. Maintain as normal a routine as possible once the new baby arrives. Remember to take your dog on regular walks and spend quality time with him each day.With a little care and preparation, your pet can make a smooth transition from only child to top dog!

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