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If you’re having a baby, congratulations! We bet you have a lot of things to get ready for when your little bundle of joy comes home.

Unfortunately, your best friend may have been left out of your considerations.

Bringing a baby home when you have a dog can be a hard obstacle to overcome. To be fair, your furry little baby was getting all your attention until this weird smelling small-human-thing came along… at least I’m sure that’s how your dog sees it.

So be prepared with these 5 tips to get your dog ready for the new family member.

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1. Have a Plan

Make time to plan out the important role your dog will play in your baby’s life. It’s important to talk to your significant other about how your dog will be able to interact with your child, and although it may less important than the bigger birthing questions, you definitely don’t want the stress of discussing these matters after the baby arrives.

Some important discussion topics could include:

“Is the dog allowed in the nursery?”

“Are we going to allow the dog to kiss our baby?”

2. Quirky Behavior

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We love our dog’s cute little quirks! Their harmless personality traits amuse us now, but when baby comes along, it could be a different story.

That laughable bark at the vacuum cleaner could turn into a crying nightmare. And those loving “hugs” and jumps when you arrive home could lead to harmful scratching you don’t want your baby to suffer. Stamp out these quirky behaviors with proper training before it’s too late.

3. Doggy Manners

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If your dog isn’t the politest at the dog park, you can bet he won’t be polite to your baby either. Practicing essential commands such as sit, come, stay, and leave it, are extremely important to master before baby arrives. The most stressful thing to go through would be training a dog while also trying to take care of a baby.

4. Sniff Time

Make time for some sniff time. Babies bring along a lot of new scents that will confuse your dog and possibly leave him to act out. Let your dog know this is a positive change by allowing him to smell baby’s nursery, toys, and even bathing lotion. This way, your dog will be familiar with the new pack member and more accepting of your baby’s place in the family.

5. Practice!

A little practice never hurt anyone, and it will certainly benefit your dog in getting to know the new routine. Use a doll to practice everyday interactions such as changing, rocking, and feeding. This will alert you to any behavior changes that could negatively affect your baby and help you train your dog properly to get use to the new arrival.

You can read the original article at The I Love Dogs Site.

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