During my first pregnancy, my then four-year-old Chiweenie would not leave my side. He had always been a momma’s boy, but during this time he was glued to me. And as the pregnancy progressed, he would lay with his head on my belly any chance he got.
So how did my furry buddy seemingly know the changes that were brewing?
Well, for one, they can smell it. They actually smell the changes in your body chemistry. This can have them reacting a few different ways. They may not care and happily continue with normal behavior. Perhaps they are like my four-legged baby and become extremely affectionate and concerned with your wellbeing. Or they may be confused because you smell weird and not want to be close to you.
As time progresses through pregnancy and you suddenly appear rounder, what does your pooch think about your new “pooch”?
Again, some may love it and snuggle up to it, especially little guys. Some may not even notice. And others may be completely freaked out and not know what to think.
But there are things you can do to ease your pet’s mind and get them used to the idea now and later when their human sibling arrives.
If your pup is having behavior issues because of the pregnancy, get back on track with training. Already been through obedience school? Give them a refresher on the commands they learned previously.
If pottying in the house is their way of acting out, don’t let them get away with it. It must be dealt with before it gets out of control. Be sure to clean the mess thoroughly, reinforce pottying outside and rewarding, and restrict their access to other parts of the home until they can be trusted.
Now, just like with the pregnancy you will have to get puppy used to the idea of the new family member.
If you have your pet on a regular feeding or walking schedule, start changing it up. When the baby gets here, everything will be on their schedule, and Fido will need to learn flexibility. Try varying feeding times, exercising them at odd times and if possible installing a doggie door.
Finally, the tricky part and what we struggled with, in the beginning, getting your dog used to someone else in your lap. Our little guy wanted nothing to do with the newborn, and he really did not like him taking up all my time. We only had a few growls to deal with that were handled with time in the kennel, but it was still a transition. Some things you can do is a hold a baby doll in your lap during snuggle time with your pet, and this will show him as long as he is calm, he can still be near you.
But as we know, dogs rely heavily on smell, so getting them used to a baby’s scent is super important. Some easy tricks are, bathe your pet in baby shampoo, wash their bedding in baby detergent and even rub some baby powder in their fur. This will get them used to the baby smell.
But most importantly be patient, things will get to a new normal, and one day your babies will be the best of friends.
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