Dogs are the most popular pets in the U.S., with 65.1 million households owning a four-legged canine furbaby. Millennials comprise the most significant percentage of dog owners at 33%, followed by Gen Z at 25% and Baby Boomers at 24%. Your furry friend is a family member but what happens when you bring home a baby? That transition is as monumental for your dog as it is for you, as one netizen found out recently.
Bringing Home Baby
A woman we'll refer to as Sheila posted a story online about the interactions of her dog and her newborn. She explained that she and her husband have a dog that's nine years old. She also revealed that their furbaby is needy and requires much praise and attention. Sheila's baby is now four months old, and the dog has shown zero interest in the baby, except to groan whenever Sheila's husband holds the baby. Sheila said that their dog prefers her husband more often than anyone else.
Other Issues and Positive Reinforcement
Concerned, Sheila shared that their dog has had several accidents in the house since the baby was home, which used to be occasional. She said she's tried different forms of positive reinforcement, like taking the dog for a walk while she also walks the baby. She said the dog will completely ignore her if she is holding the baby, and when Sheila tries to interact with the dog, the canine will pee if she has the baby nearby or is holding her.
Sheila also said their dog will go two or three days without eating, has lost ten pounds, and has nipped at her hand twice, which has never happened before. At her wit's end, Sheila reached out online to see if others had advice to help her help their dog. The response was overwhelmingly positive.
1. Weight Loss
One user noted the dramatic weight loss and urged Sheila to have the dog seen. "That is a dramatic weight loss, and you should consider addressing it with your vet. I think it's imperative to rule out a health issue."
2. Possible Diabetes
Another commenter shared a similar experience she had with her dog. "My Rotti started doing this sans the baby. Turns out she was a full-blown type 1 diabetic. Start with a vet visit."
3. Anxiety Meds
A former vet tech shared some knowledge to help Sheila out. "So I'm a former vet tech. This dog needs a vet assessment and most likely anxiety medication STAT."
4. Extra Praise
Someone suggested heaping on the praise for a dog that needs it. "You and your husband could take turns having dog cuddle time so she knows you still care and love her. Since she is very praise-driven, praising her like crazy when you are holding the baby and she is good can go a long way. If you are holding the baby and the dog is lying down relaxed nearby, praise her for that. Praise her for eating whenever she does eat. Praise her for going potty outside. It will help remind her that the things she has always done are still good and desired."
5. Take Care
One contributor urged Sheila to be careful whenever the baby is around their dog. "We love our pets, but they're still animals and shouldn't be trusted completely in a situation like this. Don't leave the baby within easy reach of the dog. It isn't worth the risk."
6. In Pain
Somebody mentioned that nipping can be a crucial indicator. "Nipping for pets could mean your dog is in pain." Dogs in pain can react differently to convey that they're hurting.
7. Quality of Life
Another person who'd been through something similar shared their story of rehoming a dog. "My Son and DIL had to rehome my DIL's dog, Priscilla, because Priscilla was miserable when my Grandson was born. They tried everything. We all cried the first week she was gone. Then, her new owners started sending pictures of Priscilla on the beach, in the golf cart, in the RV, or on the boat. We all realized WE want to be rehomed!!! It was hard, but it was the best thing for her."
An Abundance of Caution
Knowing your pet is essential to figuring out how to help them adjust when a new baby is coming home. For Sheila, a trip to the vet is critical to rule out any issues as her dog is older. Outside of any medical problems and ruling out anxiety, they may have to rehome their beloved pet for her comfort and the safety of both her and their new baby. Rehoming isn't abandonment; it's love in its purest form. Source: Reddit.
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