Are you planning for the arrival of a new little one? Me too! As I plan for the arrival of my child in July, I think about all the recent new parents and families that I work with in adapting their dogs to the arrival of a new little one, a human little one (one has to clarify around here).

I am always impressed by the families that reach out. It’s not because they have a dog that “concerns” them… it’s because they want to be as prepared as possible and make the transition easier.

Who can complain about that!?

But I know not every family expecting a bundle-of-joy is hiring a professional trainer, so as a gift from one-expecting momma to another here are my three quickies for you:

1) Teach the dog to go to their bed – this means the dog knows to leave your side and go catch a seat on their own comfy place. The short-cut to teach this is make this where they eat their meals. You’ll have them running to their dog bed or special spot quickly.

Here is Cali, a sister-to-be, learning to Place to wherever her parents tell her too. VIDEO

2) Post the Doggy House Rules – consider this your household’s cheat sheet for the family dog. Literally a sheet of paper with the dog’s schedule and, perhaps, meal amounts. So when your house is filled with people that want to “help you”, you can point them to your doggy reference sheet and they can feed, play, walk or help-you- help-your-dog. It should include what the dog is or isn’t allowed to do when it comes to the new baby.

Here is an example of what one might look like!

3) Hire a doggy doula - ok, I’m kidding, a little… What I mean is bring in some help so that your dog can still have a healthy amount of enrichment and can be given some additional support while your attention and time needs to be elsewhere (as it should). This can be a short-term stint at doggy daycare, daytime walks (yes! even if you are home) or visits with other, friendly, well-adjusted dogs for play. And by short-term, I mean a minimum of the first three months of your little one being here…

Here is a quick article on what to ask a dog walker.

At the end of it all, don’t be afraid to ask for help for yourself or for your pup, the piece of mind is worth it.

Oh and Congratulations!