The closer your due date gets, the more there is to prepare. If your baby is arriving soon, you've likely been busy following your doctor's health advice and attending regular check-ups.
But have you prepared your "fur baby" too? While it may sound surprising, it's also important that your beloved family dog gets a vet check-up before the baby is born too. Here are three reasons why you should schedule a vet appointment before your new arrival.
1. Your dog could have an infectious illness
Did you know that dogs can carry infectious diseases which can pass over to humans? Thankfully, for the most part, these illnesses pose little risk to pet owners. However, given how sensitive a baby's immune system is, your little one has a greater chance of catching one of these diseases than you do.
Some of the most common conditions dogs can pass to humans include ringworm, salmonella, giardia infection, and scabies. Having your dog checked over before you give birth will ensure both your pet and your child are safe.
2. Your dog could become stressed or anxious
Having a new baby around is a big change, and not all dogs will welcome that. If your pooch isn't used to having small children in the house, or they're used to having all your attention, they may become stressed or anxious when your baby arrives. This can lead to a whole host of unpleasant reactions, from depression to aggression.
Talking to your vet ahead of time can bring you peace of mind and help you make an action plan to prevent or reduce anxiety. Your vet will be able to advise you on the likelihood of stress given your dog's health history, any steps you should take to keep your dog calm and happy, and possible medications for canine anxiety.
3. You may not have time later
Bringing home a new baby is a joyous time, but it can also be one of the busiest and most hectic periods of your life. Those first few weeks and months are vital for bonding with your new arrival and adjusting to parenthood, so you might not have as much time for your dog as usual.
Of course, regular vet check-ups are essential, whether you're having a baby or not. If your dog will be due for a check-up within the first few months of your baby's birth, it's a good idea to move that date forward. Scheduling a vet visit before you have your baby means you won't have to worry about it when you're tired from night feeds.