Dogs Trust says having a baby doesn't mean you have to get rid of your pet

Dogs Trust says it's received almost 100 requests in the past year from expectant parents wanting to surrender their dogs.

The animal charity says a further 39 parents who had just had a new baby, also requested to give up their pet.

Dogs Trust says that having a baby doesn't have to mean giving up your dog, and that preparation is key to introducing the family pet to the new arrival.

It's encouraging people to seek help and to check out its list of helpful hints and tips:

  • Familiarise your dog with baby products. Allow them to sniff and inspect buggies, car-seats, blankets, baby clothing, changing bag, wipes etc.
  • Set ground rules and ‘out of bounds’ zones – e.g. put baby gates up BEFORE baby arrives to avoid any negative association with the baby. The earlier you begin this training the better.
  • Bring your dog for a health check up. It is good practice and peace of mind to make sure your dog has a clean bill of health and is up-to-date with vaccines, worm and flea treatments.
  • Allow your dog to become familiar with the sound of a crying baby - Introduce a lifelike doll into the family or play baby sounds.
  • Train your dog in basic commands such as “sit”, “stay” and “leave it”.
  • Bring home a blanket from hospital with the baby’s smell to your dog before baby arrives home.