Baby on the way! When Should I Start Preparing My Dog?

Jul 23, 2021

As a twin mom, I was aware that there could be complications, and many multiples arrive earlier. I had the best second trimester, I was full of energy and in great shape, and I assumed it would continue that way. ⁠

Literally overnight, I had to stop working and was put on modified bed rest for 2 months, with two short hospital stays. We never had a chance to introduce Lola to a stroller. Luckily it was not an issue, but not every dog does well with a stroller without training.⁠

While severe complications are rare, you might be too tired and uncomfortable in the last weeks of your pregnancy.⁠

And, since babies often don’t arrive on their due date, it’s best to start earlier.⁠

The ideal time to start preparing your dog for your baby is about 3 to 6 months before you have your baby.⁠

⁠Why?⁠

If your dog has any behavioral issues that need to be addressed, like: ⁠

  • possessive over resources such as food, toys, chews, novel or stolen objects, locations, or people, 
  • barking and lunging at other dogs, or moving objects (e.g., cars, bicycles, skateboarders) when in public on or off a leash, ⁠
  • uncomfortable, anxious or aggressive with visitors in your home, etc. ⁠

it takes time to implement a management and training plan and make a significant change.⁠

>>>What if you have less than 3 months?

First, I believe that even if you start preparing a few days before you have your baby, it can make a difference.⁠ 

Second, if your dog is fairly well trained, doesn’t have separation anxiety, sleeps outside the bedroom or in a crate, you can focus on baby-specific preparations and training and have great results within a few weeks. 

Grab the *free* Dog Meets Baby Preparation Checklist to see what you can check off the list and what would be good to focus on.⁠

If you need guidance and help to prepare your dog/s for your baby, check out the Dog Meets Baby Preparation Course (coming soon).

My pre-baby training was minimal because of the strong foundation (obedience and socialization) Lola already had. I wish I’d known about the predatory instinct toward newborns, but otherwise, she was prepared. And that made a HUGE DIFFERENCE in life with newborn twins. ⁠

If you only have a few days, focus on the behaviors that will make the biggest difference later or are important from the safety point of view, e.g., moving the dog out of your bed or bedroom or being comfortable (briefly) separated from you.

Have a plan and practice the steps of the introduction, especially if you have multiple dogs or reasons for concern.

If you are not sure how to safely introduce your baby to your dog, check out my Mini Course.

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