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THE challenges of coping with a dog and a new baby have been highlighted by a recent survey conducted by the NCT, a UK charity for parents.
The results of the survey of 1000 expectant parents and 1000 new parents suggested that almost half (46 per cent) of new parents found it challenging to cope with their new baby and their dog. While only 2 per cent of expectant parents had considered giving up their dog, this figure rose to 17 per cent among new parents. Nearly one in five (18 per cent) of the expectant parents responding to the survey said that they had been told by family, friends or health professionals to give up their dog before their baby arrived. Over half (52 per cent) said that they would like to see more guidance from health professionals on how to introduce a new baby to their dog.
To help parents feel more confident about preparing their dog for the arrival of a baby, NCT has worked with Dogs Trust to produce a leaflet that aims to help parents feel more confident about dealing with their dog alongside a baby. The leaflet (available at www.dogstrust.org.uk/_resources/resources/factsheets09/factsheetnewbaby10.pdf) provides advice on preparing the dog for the new arrival and what to do when the baby is at home.
‘We are seeing many perfectly happy and well behaved dogs being abandoned at our rehoming centres once their owners become pregnant or a new baby arrives,’ said Clarissa Baldwin, chief executive of Dogs Trust. ‘Yet, by being prepared before the baby arrives, many of these worries can be dispelled and the family dog can continue to be a part of the happy family.’
Belinda Phipps, chief executive of NCT, added: ‘All parents want the best for their new baby. Some may think this means giving up their dog, but by following some simple steps, new mums and dads can feel more confident about preparing themselves and their pet for their new arrival.’
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