In a recent column, household tip columnist, Heloise, advised her readers on how to help a dog prepare for a new baby in the household:
Dear Heloise: I wanted to send in these helpful hints I thought were good ideas regarding bringing a new baby home to pets. I am a real pet lover, and if these hints would help with newborn/pet relationships, it would be a good idea if you printed them! — L.B., in Iowa
1. Tape-record a newborn crying and play the recording in your home as often as possible to familiarize your pets with the upcoming "new" noises.
2. Cradle, hold and carry a baby doll around your pets. Helping them learn how to "act" around the doll might make it an easier transition when mother and baby come home.
3. Use baby products such as powder or lotion ahead of time to help pets get familiar with the "smell" of a baby.
4. If you are going to change sleeping arrangements (e.g., taking pets out of your bedroom), do this at least a month before delivery so pets do not associate the "displacement" with the baby.
5. If you cannot get a tape recording of baby sounds, there are television shows devoted to newborn babies that you could leave on so your pets will get used to these sounds.