Baby-Ready Dogs

Get Your Dog Ready for a Baby

According to a Sept. 28, 2020 article in The Daily Memphian, the coronavirus shutdown that started in March is going to be responsible for a bit of a “baby boom” in the United States. Robert Burns, administrator at Memphis Obstetrics & Gynecological Association, a large practice with four offices throughout metropolitan Memphis, says the data is clear: from May to August, prenatal visits rose 30-percent. And for July 2020, that number was up 78-percent compared to July 2019.

News sources in different parts of the country have reported similar trends.

But whether or not there is an increase in the birthrate because of the so-called “Fertility Effect of Catastrophe” (a term coined by Paul Evans of Brigham Young University), expectant parents whose household includes a dog always need to prepare the dog for the arrival of a new member of the family.  You already know a new baby will change your routine in a big way but you aren’t the only one who will be affected—your dog will be too.

You may be surprised to learn that one of the most common reasons a dog is brought to a shelter is that its behavior after the arrival of a baby has changed, and is adding stress to already-stressed couples.   

Baby Proof your dog

A new baby in the house means new sights, sounds, and smells that can make a dog nervous. The good news: with a little planning and a few simple actions, you can prepare your dog in advance. And it’s time well spent. The joyous occasion of bringing home a baby should be a happy time for every member of your household.  You don’t want to mar that time with the heart-breaking decision to surrender your dog to an animal rescue league.

Check out the information and thorough set of steps to prepare your dog for the new baby offered on the ASPCA website.  Ideally, get started four months before the baby’s expected arrival.  But even if you have less lead time, read the info and take action. You’ll be ensuring that your family photos continue to include that beautiful, loving dog, and you will be setting in place the foundation for years of happy memories for your child.  

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