It is common for many couples to keep a pet before planning to have a baby. This pet plays a major role as a friend, companion, and in the case of dogs: a door-keeper. This is why when the time comes for the couple to have a baby, it is mandatory for them to introduce their first “child” to the new baby.
Expect sibling rivalry
This rivalry is normal since the pet was accustomed to having all the attention in the house. Before bringing the baby home, it is therefore wise to start spending less time with the pet so that they can ease into their new role faster. This is necessary because a new baby is demanding and will be taking up plenty of your time. Neglecting the pet in such a scenario is easy regardless of how hard you try not to.
Gently ease them off your lap by encouraging them to embrace the floor, as your lap will be mostly occupied by an infant.
It is common for some dogs to become territorial and aggressive, which can be scary to some couples. If this happens, you can consult with an animal behaviorist who will work with the pet to cure it of these tendencies. Alternatively, you can take them for dog training, which should show them how to redirect any aggression and how to obey commands.
Prepare your pet “psychologically”
Months before the birth of the new addition to the family, it’s a good idea to start introducing your pet to the baby’s world. Playing recordings of a crying baby or using the baby’s rocker frequently is advised. This will make it easier for your pet when the new baby arrives, as these sounds will be the norm around the house. You can also use a doll to play the role of the baby, complete with the clothes and the routine. This way, the pet assimilates to the idea mentally, hopefully making the road ahead smoother.
Starting this process early on in the pregnancy is wise, as it will give you and your pet plenty of time to adjust to the changes. It also ensures that you pick up on any distress signals from your pet early enough that you can find a solution in time.