Preparing your dog for a new baby

Bringing home a new baby will turn life upside down for everyone, including your pup. Its best to start preparing your dog early for what life is going to be like with the new family addition.

Make physical changes to the house as early as possible. Set up the crib, sit in the rocking chair, turn on any musical baby toys, take your dog on a walk with the empty stroller. Encourage your dog to explore all the news items in the house.

Get your dog used to the sounds of babies. Invite friends over with young children. Take your dog to a playground and let him watch the children play. You can even purchase CDs. Two of the best are Sounds of Babies and Preparing Fido.

Brush up on your dogs obedience skills. The Stay and Leave It may not be used now, but they will be once the baby arrives!

Gradually spend less time with your dog so he is more independent when he is no longer the baby in the family! Encourage bonding with any family member that will be spending more time with him once your child comes home.

NEVER leave your dog unattended with your new baby! Even though they may love each other, even a small play nip can severely scare or injure a newborn.