There are so many things to think about when imagining being responsible for another one’s wellbeing. I have always been one to gradually work my way into responsibility. For instance, in my first solo apartment, I planted a bunch of succulents thinking they were easy for a beginner green thumb. Well, I had to replace those succulents a few times before they actually began to grow instead of shriveling…
Next, with the help of my hubs, we decided to upgrade our plant responsibility to pet ownership. Being that we are a “go big or go home” type of couple we chose the largest dog breed we could think of and after a trip to Dallas came home with the most precious black and white spotted Great Dane pup we named Goose.
After two years of Goose being our number one pup, we have decided to take adulting one step further to parenthood of an actual human baby. Our Gage will be here in May! (I say that in a whisper as Goose is watching me write this).
Great Danes tend to be super emotional dogs and require a lot of TLC, of which we have gone above and beyond to show our Goose. He will always have the title of first born in this family, however, I have been trying to be really mindful if he can tell that things are changing. I think he can!
So with that, I have wrapped up my favorite top five ways to ease your fur baby into “big pupperhood” :
- The most common tip that I have found is to bring a blanket home from the hospital with your new little ones smell on it before bringing baby home. This will help your fur baby to recognize that scent when the real thing shows up.
- Start enforcing boundaries before the baby comes home. Example: if your pup isn’t allowed in the nursery reinforce that as a boundary a few months in advance. Goose has full reign of our home and I personally like the idea of him wanting to check on our little dude so I have allowed Goose in the nursery the whole time we have been putting it together. He now wakes up in the morning and checks that room before he does anything else.
- Play videos of babies crying and put a rocker out with a doll in it to test how your pet responds to the change as well as get them used to the added sound and movement.
- Find a space in your home that is a “safe zone” for your pet. Whether it be your pets kennel, bed, or special room in the house let that be his. If he feels the need for some quiet time or just a need to get away he can retreat to this space and know it’s his special spot. Goose sleeps in our room and has always used our bed as his special relaxation spot. We have a full sized bed in our nursery so our plan is to sleep in there right away rather than have the baby in our room. (perhaps wishful thinking but I think it will work great!)
- Make sure to keep your pups schedule consistent. If you walk your pet daily make sure to stay consistent with it when the baby comes. It will be good for you, your little newbie, and your fur baby! The new bundle will most certainly take up a lot of your free time and need a lot of attention so giving your pet that special time will mean so much to them and also hopefully keep them from acting out.
These are just a few suggestions to make the introduction as smooth as it can possibly go. There is bound to be some adjustment time and if your pet seems to be uninterested in your new baby don’t force it. They will come around and before you know it they will be best friends.
With that being said, never leave your baby in a room alone with your pet. As much as they are a part of the family they are still animals and you just never know.
Goose can definitely sense that things are changing and that he has to be gentle with me these days. Not that it stops him from sitting on my lap, following me around, or pretending to be a 140-pound kitty cat most of the time. I am confident that Goose will be as loving and sweet with our new bundle as he is with me, and once the kid starts dropping food on the floor he will most certainly prefer little Gage’s company over mine.