I got married in 2009 at the age of 23 and was a bubbly girl who laughed and talked a lot. Days rolled by and soon our first anniversary was just a month away and we wanted to take a vacation and soon planned a vacation to Malpe. A beautiful place indeed! We went by bus and it took 14 long hours! Phew! Hubby wanted to see all the places around and i was feeling too tired to even step anywhere. Both of us got really worried since I rarely say that I'm tired. We finished our vacation back home and found out I was pregnant!!
All happy happy! My gynec too gave a positive report month after month and at 1 point I mentioned to her that I've a dog (Tuffy) at my mom's place. My gynec was totally ok! At about 7th month during my baby shower my Granny realised we had a dog!! There suddenly was a big chaos at home to give up or rather abandon Tuffy which was against our wishes but were definitely confused. She told us dogs are unhygienic, will spread infections and the baby will have allergies and the baby will keep falling ill! Really worried I asked my gynec again and she assured that a dog won't harm. We next spoke to our vet and he too assured if taken a little extra care the dog and the baby could be great companions. Started googling trying to find out how to maintain a dog.
Here's what we found out also based on our experience:
- Let your dog be with u all the time during pregnancy. Dogs sniff out your pregnancy even before you know. Genie (my present dog) knew 2 weeks before that I was pregnant and had become my bodyguard. Dogs can hear your baby (crying, laughing) inside and also feel it.
- Let your dog come to you and rest is face on your tummy. This way the dog and the baby will form a bond. When i was pregnant with my daughter, she first recognised Genie by touch.
- Make sure your dog is well trained. Obedience training will help to also establish its boundaries and dogs feel comforted with training.
- Don't neglect your dog, neither keep it tied , never keep it away just because you are pregnant. They stick around during pregnancy just to make you feel comfortable. In their terms it's taking care of you.
- Keep your dog very clean with regular baths, hair trimming or grooming. This will prevent the hair flying around in the house. Also keeping them clean will ensure the clean environment. Get them used to washing their paws when they come back from walks.
- How you introduce the dog and baby is important. Once u deliver and come home with the baby, let your dog sniff the baby completely. Yes! Let your dog sniff the baby. Your dog will not harm the baby since it knows that the baby belongs to you from the smell and dogs can also know that the same baby was inside your tummy. Your dog may want to lick the baby, in that case the safest part is the feet of the baby. That's the way dogs try to know you. Daily give your dog mins with the baby while the baby is safe in your lap.
- How much ever trusted your dog is, never leave the baby unattended on the floor. Dogs are impulsive and don't realise that their running or playing inside the house can at times harm the baby. For example, if the baby is unattended on the floor when the bell rings and the dog runs towards the door without noticing the baby or might even step on it and we end up blaming, punishing and in extreme cases even abandoning the dog for our mistake of leaving the baby unattended.
- Don't ever lock up or chain the dog because of the baby. It will only lead to non acceptance of the baby.
There was a lot of research done on this and they also concluded that babies growing up with pets are more considerate towards animals, have better immunity and are much stronger emotionally and mentally than kids who don't grow up with pets.
My son was born and is now 5.5yrs old and 2yrs back Tuffy passed away after being with us for 17.5yrs! Here now it's Genie who is 2.5 yrs old and I now have a daughter too who is 7 months old and both my kids growing in close proximity with Genie.
Day in and out I see posts of pets up for adoption just because somebody is having a baby. There's no need to abandon your furry 4 legged babies for ur human babies! Happy parenting and happy pet parenting too!