Why You Should Include Your Dog In Your Birthing Plans
Although thinking about your dog may not be on top of your list of priorities when you are expecting a child, dog experts advise owners to decide what to do with their furry friend when labor begins and after the baby arrives home.
Colleen Safford, New York’s eminent dog trainer advises future parents to prepare their dog for labor and explore some general dog-kid safety tips before the baby is born.
Sara Newman, a Manhattan-based human doula and dog trainer agrees.
“It’s not unlike putting a plan in place if you have older children. You want to make sure there’s as little disruption to the dog’s routine as possible.”
Safford thinks it’s helpful to have the dog out of the house before heading to hospital, especially if they tend to be anxious.
“If you feel that your dog does not adjust well to change, you can line up boarding ahead of time. If you have a laid-back dog, then go ahead and have them around. It’s about knowing your dog.”
Safford adds that preparing the introduction between the dog and the baby requires a lot of work, including brushing up on basic obedience commands. For example, wearing baby lotion and playing recordings of a crying baby can help your dog be prepared for the new family member.
Mitch Marrow, founder and co-CEO of the Spot Experience, a Manhattan-based dog daycare says that the actual introduction should be done in a calm, slow and controlled manner.
“You really have to introduce the baby in a calm, almost unaffected way. The dog is going to want to see what it is. It’s hard when you have a new baby to remember that the dog was there first.”