The current baby in our house is our little Goldendoodle puppy, Buddy. We fell in love with this fluffy guy a year and a half ago and have spoiled him ever since. He gets a ton of attention in our house, including homemade dog smoothies each morning, nighttime cuddles each night and lots of playtime! In return though he’s given us so much joy and laughter, and we wouldn’t know what to do without him!
When we found out we were expecting we almost immediately thought about how this would affect our pup. Thankfully he’s had lots of training as a puppy and is also great around people of all ages. However, we still want to get him ready for the major changes a baby can bring like new sounds, new smells, new household items and new routines. We did some research and asked friends for their advice and feel we have a good sense now of what we need to do to get Buddy ready! Hoping you find some of these tips insightful or interesting – enjoy!
- Slowly introduce your dog to baby sights, sounds and smells. Buddy has been around children a lot but not a lot of babies. Throughout the third trimester we’ve brought him to more events where babies are present so he can hear them cry, see how they interact with him and get him used to their smells. We’re also randomly playing videos of babies crying to make sure he doesn’t get startled and becomes familiar with the sound. Additionally, as we’ve gotten gifts for the baby we open them in front of him so he can start to feel comfortable with the new items we’re going to have in the house. I’ve also read to start wearing the lotions that you’ll be putting on the baby so he’ll associate the baby as a member of the family.
- Start introducing subtle changes to your routine. I’ve been getting up in the middle of the night throughout most of my pregnancy so we’re hoping that won’t surprise Buddy when we do this with the baby. I also try to feed him a little later in the day and not take him out at exactly the same time each day so he isn’t always expecting things at certain times.
- Make slight changes in your attention. To be honest, this has been the hardest because I want to give Buddy all of my love all the time. However, I try not to overload him with too many cuddles and kisses these days. He’s still getting a lot of attention but the sessions are a little shorter.
- Enforce new rules and better behavior. Overall Buddy is a great dog and the training we did with him has helped tremendously. However there are some things we need to work on, such as jumping up to meet new people. Our trainer has given us some great tips on how to limit this by making him sit/lay down when we enter and invite him up to jump by patting our chest. If he listens he gets lots of attention! If not then we ignore him and try again when he’s calm. We also make him lay down and stay down when a new person comes to the door, but Buddy gets so excited that this part has been difficult. We invite our friends and family over often to keep practicing this because practice makes perfect!
- Bring home your baby’s clothes or blanket. Our friends have found this tip to be extremely helpful. Before walking in the door with your new baby, make sure you or your husband comes in with just the baby’s clothes or blanket so your pup can become familiar with the unique smells. We definitely plan on doing this when baby arrives!