So, you have a baby on the way but already have pets that are part of the family. Pets can be wonderful for babies, but how can you introduce them and get them used to each other?
First, Get Your Pet Ready Before Baby is Born
Parents.com has some advice for you to introduce your “furry baby” to your human one,
For many couples, a dog is their first “baby.” And chances are, your hound knows he is! Your canine will still be a cherished part of the clan when your son or daughter arrives on the scene, but your routines will shift, and that can befuddle your furry friend. Like babies, dogs thrive on predictability, and “a newborn dramatically changes not only your life but your dog’s as well,” says Victoria Stilwell, dog trainer and host of Animal Planet’s It’s Me or the Dog. Soon he’ll have to share your adoring attention with a demanding infant, and he won’t understand why the long walks he relishes are getting shorter. Don’t wait till Baby is home to help your pup adjust to the expanded fam. “While you’re pregnant, initiate changes to get him used to a new schedule,” Stilwell says. ~Parents, Keep Reading Here
VetStreet has your prepping tutorial. Meet Cosmo:
- Start helping your dog adjust now to things he or she may experience with baby.
- If needed, seek out the help of a veterinarian or certified dog trainer.
- Address manners.
- Practice Walking with Stroller.
- Practice commands “leave it” drop it.”
- Consider crate training.
- Create a refuge for your dog, so he can get to a peaceful area when needed.
- Buy a diaper pail with secure lid.
- Prepare him to be independent.
- Stock up on chew toys.
- Create exercise routine that you and your dog can stick too, even after the baby is born.
- Surround your dog with baby noises that your dog will experience.
Bringing a new baby into a home with a dog can be stressful, but Mikkel Becker has some good news: With precautions and training, your dog can safely and happily cohabitate with a newborn. Here’s her best advice on teaching proper manners and purchasing safety items. ~VetStreet
You can not completely prepare your pets for a new baby, but you can make the transition easier for them.
While you obviously can’t warn them of what’s ahead, you can start, during pregnancy, to desensitize pets to life with an infant. You may have heard that it’s a good idea to carry around a baby doll — it may seem silly, but it gets a pet used to seeing you with a bundle in your arms or on your lap. You need to teach a dog, particularly, not to jump on you when you have the doll. If a dog doesn’t respond to verbal commands, such as “sit” or “down,” we suggest you start obedience training well before your baby’s birth.
Cats and dogs are also sensitive to newborns’ cries, so you might gradually get them accustomed to the sound by playing a recording (tape a friend’s baby or buy a CD from animalbehaviorassociates.com). Invite friends with children to come over more often to get your pet further adjusted to life with kids. It’s important to socialize a cat or dog well beforehand. Pets that are only used to you and your partner will have a harder time with the baby. ~How a Baby Changes Your Pet’s Life
A new baby in the house can be a huge transition for everyone, pets included. Just remember to prepare as much as you can and be sensitive to how your pet may be feeling. You want your baby and your pets to be safe and happy.