Dog Behavior

9 Months to Prepare Your Pet for Your Baby

This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.

9 Months to Prepare Your Pet for Your Baby

Congratulations on the exciting news!  You are expecting a baby and have tons to do between morning sickness, lack of sleep, baby books and baby showers.  But there’s another baby in your home that you have to prepare – your fur baby.  You have 9 months to prepare your pet for your baby…let’s get started!

First: Assess Your Beloved Pet

You know how cute it is when Fido jumps into your arms when you come home?  Or how he loves to bark at the squirrels through the window early in the morning?  <Insert screeching brakes> Yeah.  Those behaviors are not so great when you have a newborn.

It is time to call a professional trainer.  Dog Trainers have assisted many expected parents in their quest for the perfect pet.

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This Book Changed My Opinion About Dogs And Separation Anxiety

This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.

Milo’s mom was so upset (and rightfully so).  Her precious Lab who is normally the most well-behaved dog in the world, destroyed her window frame, window treatments and curtains one afternoon while the family was at church.  Milo’s mom confessed that Milo has been doing things like this lately but this was by far the worse incident and she is lost as to what to do.  Being the ‘expert’ I am, I diagnosed Milo with separation anxiety. After all, he is a Labrador and they love to be around their pack!

A few months later, I followed up with the family and found out that Milo got progressively worse and they had to give him away.  I was heart-broken!  Soon after, an amazing book found it’s way into my hands and changed my thoughts about separation anxiety.  I misdiagnosed Milo!!  And so did all of the other experts!  Please read this book and educate yourself if your dog is exhibiting separation anxiety – it may be something completely different!

Separation Anxiety vs Containment Phobia by Karyn Garvin is the book I am referring to and one in which I believe all pet owners should have.  As the title suggests, there is another condition that effects 10-15% of the canine population known as Containment Phobia.


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Why Does My Dog Bark at People on Walks?

I read a great article today on “That Mutt” titled “Stop A Dog From Barking at People on Walks.”  I could relate instantly because one of my dogs, Rocky, used to do this and not only was it embarrassing, but as a larger breed, he probably scared the people passing by.  So why do dogs bark at people on walks and what advice is out there to stop this ‘rude’ behavior?

According to That Mutt:

Dogs could also bark at people due to:

1. Excitement. “Hey! A person! I love people! Yay!”

2. Frustration (due to excitement). Not being able to reach that person fast enough due to being on a leash. See my post: Leash aggression.

3. Protection or resource guarding. Although this often stems from fear & feeling the need to protect from the “threat.”

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Hardwired to Walk

Four paws pounding the pavement.  Tongue dangling, collecting moisture from the air.  Barrel chest breathing in and out.  Our companion canines are hardwired to walk.  It is instinct that drives them and it is so very important for us to make sure this need is met!

Man’s Best Friend – Us

Let’s take a quick look at modern man and just how much our ancestors created who we are today.  Women tend to have higher social and communication skills being gatherers and raising the children.  They worked in close proximity to other women who were doing similar tasks and thus they started to talk.  And talk and talk…..(If your wife, mother, sister girlfriend can’t seem to stop talking – blame Betty Rubble!)  Men on the other hand were the hunters.  They traversed the land looking for their next prey.  They relied on hand and eye signals since they were spread out to hunt effectively.  They needed to learn logistics pretty fast to know where they were and how to get home.  Who needs a GPS – am I right, guys?  Now look at your sweet pup lying at your feet.  All dogs came from the wolf and all wolves are migratory animals.

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10 things to know before you get a puppy

1. Hard work. Puppies are like newborn babies. They need to be walked in the middle of the night, comforted when they are scared and crying, and plenty of interactions to help them grow up into well-balanced, happy pets.  Consider the amount of time this entails.  If your life is running from one activity to the next, maybe it is better to hold off until things slow down.

2. Cost.  Owning a pet, especially a puppy is expensive. Consider the fact that most dogs will live between 10-20 years.  They require multiple visits to a vet, monthly medicines (such as flea & tick preventatives), vaccines, licenses (in some states), food, accessories, grooming and vitamins. Typically, cost of ownership in the first year will be the highest.  Ranging somewhere between $1000 and $3000.  Total costs over your dog’s lifetime will range between $10,000 and $20,000.  If you don’t have it in the budget, time to hold off.

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