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The arrival of a new baby in the house puts a particular focus on the behaviour of a dog.
Over the last 12 months, Dogs Trust in Dublin has received 98 requests from expectant parents and 39 requests from parents who had just had a new baby, wishing to surrender their dogs.
The charity wants to highlight, through their ‘Be Dog Smart Week‘, that having a baby doesn’t have to mean giving up your dog.
Preparation is key to introducing your family dog to your new arrival.
The arrival of a new baby can be an over-whelming time, especially for first time parents who may be anxious about the responsibility.
Six simple tips to prepare for the new arrival:
- Familiarise your dog with baby products. Allow them to sniff and inspect buggies, car-seats, blankets, baby clothing, changing bag, wipes etc.
- Set ground rules and ‘out of bounds’ zones e.g. put baby gates up BEFORE baby arrives to avoid any negative association with the baby. The earlier you begin this training the better.
- Bring your dog for a health check up. It is good practice and peace of mind to make sure your dog has a clean bill of health and is up-to-date with vaccines, worm and flea treatments.
- Allow your dog to become familiar with the sound of a crying baby – Introduce a lifelike doll into the family or play baby sounds.
- Train your dog in basic commands such as “sit”, “stay” and “leave it”.
- Bring home a blanket from hospital with the baby’s smell to your dog before baby arrives home.
If you are interested in finding out more about the Be Dog Smart Safe Code or would like to arrange a Be Dog Smart workshop in your school, library or community centre, visit www.bedogsmart.ie.