Dogs & Babies
We understand your concern, and the fact that you want your dogs to accept your baby.
The situation must be handled with extreme care and sensitivity. As you have a short time before the baby is due, it would help now to cool the relationship the you have with your dogs. For example, if the dogs sleep in the bedroom, try to break the habit now, not after the baby is born. Try and cut down on the treats and affection that you give the dogs. I know that this is going to be very difficult for you.
What it will mean however, is after the baby is born, you will be able to offer your dogs affection and treats that they would have been without, thus associating the attention that they are getting with the arrival of the baby.
Once the baby is home, try and give the dogs a treat when you feed the baby, change the nappy etc. When you have visitors, encourage them to also fuss the dogs, and ask them to hold the baby whilst you fuss the dogs.
Introducing new Puppy to Dog
Whatever your reasons you decided to add another dog to the family, just be aware that bringing in a new dog is a huge change for an older dog – and unless you go about it the right way, it could create a lot of stress.
Here are a few ways you can help make the process of introducing your older dog to a new dog less stressful:
With the puppy in your lap and your older dog on a leash held by someone else, let the older dog sniff, lick and explore the puppy. A couple of minutes is more than enough time for this initial introduction. Remove the puppy from the room, then lavish your older dog with attention and praise. On the second or third meeting, if all seems safe, allow the puppy onto the floor, and monitor that situation carefully for a few minutes. Remove the puppy from the room, and again, give your older dog praise and attention. Repeat this exercise at least twice daily until you’re comfortable that the two will get along. It’s not a good idea to leave your puppy alone with your older dog. There should always be someone there to supervise. When you talk to each of the dogs, use a happy, friendly tone of voice. Never talk to them in a way that is threatening. Reward good behaviour with treats and/or compliments of “good dog!”. Monitor their body language ! Give your older dog some quiet time away from your new dog or puppy every once in awhile – he’ll appreciate the break. And be sure to give him lots of individual attention so he’ll know that he still holds a special place in your heart and hasn’t been ‘replaced’.
Traveling With Your Dog
Make sure your dog is accustomed to car travel. Your holiday excursion shouldn’t be his first trip in a car. If you know he’s likely to be sick or excitable in the car, you can get him used to the car journeys gradually.
This can be done by letting the dog just sit in the car without the car moving. When the dog is comfortable with this, take the dog round the block, and gradually move up to taking the dog on journeys for 5 minutes, 10 minutes etc.
When the dog is in the car, there are a number of methods of restraining him that you can use. You may want to consider using a canine crate or have a separate area at the back of the car for the dog. Alternatively, you can buy a dog harness, which clips into the seatbelt of the car.
Make regular stops to allow your dog to relieve himself if necessary and offer him water to drink. Keep him on a leash when you exercise him, and never let him run loose at a service station or near a busy road.
Don’t leave your pet in a parked car in hot weather. Never leave him in direct sunlight; always park in the shade. Even in dull weather, don’t leave your dog in the car alone for more than 5-10 minutes. Make sure he has some drinking water. Leave the windows open wide enough to allow fresh air in but not him out! You can actually buy window attachments that allow the window to be left open, without your dog escaping.
Even though he may love to do it, don’t let your dog hang his head out the window of a moving vehicle, as this can lead to eye injuries and may cause an accident.