Baby on board! Top 5 prep tips
Seven years ago we brought home twin 'human' babies to meet our first babies, Ivy and Rusty, both Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. I have to admit I did not do that much research before I introduced them. Fortunately, things went fine, but for those who are more comfortable with planning and not leaving things up to chance (which is wise!), here are my top 5 tips to make the experience and process easier for you, your pup and baby.
Train your pup to listen and obey basic commands — sit, stay, come, leave it, drop it, wait, off, down. There is a lot more training out there (see references below) to prepare your dog for the new addition, however, if you don't have the time or money for a professional training, focus on the basics, it's important and it will likely be enough.
Be aware of your energy. Your dog will likely mirror your emotions. If you are excited and anxious when your pup is around your baby, your dog will be excited and anxious. If your nervous, try not to show it!
Exercise your dog often and mostly the day your baby is coming home. Your dog will be more relaxed and less anxious if he/she has been exercised.
Doggie germs are not any worse than baby goo. If your concerned about doggie germs getting on your baby, you will have a very long and stressful journey raising a child with a dog in the house. I let my pups lick the face of my 3 day old twin boys when we arrived home from the hospital. Below are a couple of links regarding baby, dogs and germs.
Call in reinforcements. Don't hesitate to ask family and friends to help exercise and take care of your beloved doggie while you spend time with your newborn. Also, hiring a professional dog walker or pet sitter is a great way to go.
Why dogs and cats make babies healthier, Time Magazine
Early exposure to pets, dirt and germs are good for babies, IFL Science
New study reveals: Want healthier kids? Get a dog!
Preparing your dog for baby, Parents.com
Preparing your dog for new baby, ASPCA
Book: Childproofing your dog, Amazon
Book: There's a baby in the house, Amazon