Let’s be honest: If you became a dog owner before having children, your pooch is often considered your firstborn. In those early days of puppy parenting, that little fur ball can do no wrong. And as time goes on, the dog will convince you that since you have mastered the art of “raising” a pet, you are ready to have children.
What the poor pup doesn’t realize is that once those screaming infants come home, life will never be the same. If your dog knew this, he or she would probably try to be a little less cute, loving, and loyal from the very beginning!
Your dog (or cat) is a part of your family, and you are going to want to do your best to make your pup as comfortable as possible when the family immersion process begins.
Here are a few tips and anecdotes to help you and Fido during those early days of “sibling” introductions:
- Have a sitter lined up. When you leave for the hospital, make sure a friend or neighbor will dog sit while you are away. You want someone who will keep up with the pup’s schedule and make sure he or she is getting a bit of extra love and attention.
- Start with the sense of smell. Before bringing the babies home, take a blanket or two that the babies have been swaddled in for at least a few hours and place the blankets in your dog’s bed or crate so that your pup can investigate and become familiar with the twins’ scents.
- Expect things to go a bit haywire. Maybe the dog barks every time the babies cry for the first day or two (yes, this can happen) or the pup has accidents wherever and whenever despite just being walked (we can attest to this too). This abnormal behavior most likely will pass as things become more and more familiar, generally within a few days.
- Maintain the schedule. Do your best to keep the dog’s regular schedule for walks and feeding so that your pup’s routine stays constant with few surprises.
- Allow for the dog to be part of the family. This may be the first time you don’t want your dog around, for a variety of reasons. But the best thing for everyone is to get familiar as soon as possible. Soon enough, the dog will be sleeping at the foot of the twins’ beds every night.