For many families in the United States, parental leave is considered a luxury. The fact that you have to somehow make everything work while you are still trying to get used to being a new mom is miserable! It takes a toll on many moms in more ways than one. The lack of paternity leave in the U.S. is made even more difficult when you have to not only worry about a newborn but a dog too! I completely understand how you feel. It sucks that you have to simply cross your fingers and hope that everything goes smoothly while you are at work.
If you are struggling with this, here are three tips for when you are trying to juggle baby and dog when your parental leave is over:
1. Make Preparations for Baby and Dog
The more you prepare your dog for the addition of a new family member, the easier it will be!
One way that you can ease your dog into life with baby is by practicing stroller walks and teaching your dog to walk on a loose leash before the baby is born. Having a well trained dog that can go with you and your baby on walks, both during and after your leave is over, will give more ways to include and exercise your dog.
My Preparation Course gives you all the tools you will need to train and prepare your dog for the arrival of your baby.
2. Help Your Dog Cope With Separation Anxiety
The added stress of your dog’s separation anxiety can make this adjustment even harder. If your pup is dealing with some separation anxiety, it is always a good idea to get some help so that you can make this transition easier on yourself. Last year, I was able to speak with Jenna, a Separation Anxiety Expert who answered some of our questions on helping your dog with this disorder.
The key thing to remember is that it takes time to help relieve your dog’s separation anxiety. To help them cope with the shift of you going back to work, make sure that you start as soon as you can since you have a limited time to do so. Slowly work up to leaving them for longer periods of time. This isn’t something that will solve itself overnight, but you can take steps today to make the change easier for you and your pup.
3. Consider Using a Dog Walker or Dog Sitter
Before your child is born, or at least before your paternity leave is up, you will want to have a plan in place for what will happen with your dog once you go back to work.
If your baby is in daycare and your dog will be left alone in your home all day, JetPet Resort suggests that you might want to consider dropping your dog off at doggie daycare or a friend’s house who works from home or has a dog so that they could play together. Another option is to have a friend, family member, or neighbor stop by to spend some time with your dog, take them potty or play in the backyard. You could also have a dog walker come by in the middle of the day and take your dog on a walk to get them out of the house! Or, if you work from home or have the ability to leave work, consider using your lunch break to exercise your dog.
Having to head back to work after a minimal parental leave is extremely rough on everyone involved. You will definitely have to outsource and ask for help if you aren’t able to work from home! Hopefully, you can make the transition easier with some of these tips. And if you are looking for tips to introduce a baby and dog to one another when they arrive, my Mini-Course can help you ease into that paternal leave and make the most of your time together!
Disclaimer: This blog is for educational purposes only. Please contact your veterinarian, a certified dog trainer, or a veterinary behaviorist, if your dog's wellbeing is at risk or your dog's behavior poses a threat to you or other people.