Are you expecting a new baby, and do you have a dog? If you are, I know you must have given a lot of thought to how to handle the dog when that joyous event takes place. Here’s some help to alleviate or head off some of the issues that might arise.

1. Gradually reduce the time spent with your dog before the baby comes so that he will not feel neglected or rejected. If you know that your dog will need to be separated from you when you are attending to the baby in a particular room, start using that room for reading or relaxing, and do not allow your dog to be with you at that time.

2. Discourage your dog from jumping on furniture used for the baby before the baby comes.

3. Get your dogs accustomed to the smells of a new baby by applying baby lotions and powders to your arms prior to the baby coming home.

4. Slowly introduce baby-related noises into the household to help keep your dog calm and relaxed when it’s the real thing.

5. If your dog is your number one fan, try to have another household member take over some of the “dog” responsibilities and playtime bonding, a few months in advance of the baby’s arrival.

6. Hire a responsible, overly friendly, dog-loving dog walker before the baby comes.

7. Use the baby’s name when talking to the dog so he is familiar with it.

8. Even though I believe your dog will definitely know the difference between a real live human baby and a doll, try putting the baby lotion and powder on a blanketed or diapered doll. It will help to get your dog used to some of the smells and routines of holding and walking around the house with the baby. Practice walking your dog next to a baby stroller or carriage. You can put the baby scented doll in a car seat or feeding seat and teach your dog to “sit quietly next to it but without “TOUCHING”.

When the new baby arrives, gradually increase together time with your dog. Remember your BCFF!! (Best Canine Friend Forever) and don’t make him feel neglected.)

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