Pets often have trouble adjusting to the arrival of a new addition to the family. If you have a pet and are expecting a baby in a few months, it’s important that you get started with plans for the introduction as soon as possible.
1. Get your pet accustomed to all things related to babies
Animals can only learn how to behave around babies when they have practice. You need to help your pet gain adequate exposure to babies.
- Invite friends with babies to come visit you on a regular basis.
- Three months before the baby is expected, buy a doll the size of a newborn, swaddle it in baby clothing and carefully carry it about in front of your pet, as if it were a baby.
- Play recordings of baby-related sounds – crying, laughter and so on – for your pet.
- Leave open packages of baby products around the house to help your pet get used to all the new smells.
- Bring up your baby’s name often to help your pet get used to it.
2. Sign your pet up for an infant training class
Many pet trainers offer baby training courses to help pets get used to babies in the house. If you can’t find such a pet trainer in your area, it wouldn’t be bad idea to simply sign your pet up for general training. Pets that are better behaved overall can have an easier time adjusting to a new baby in the home or any new event.
3. Get in touch with your pet’s vet
It’s a good idea to take your pet in for a thorough checkup ahead of you baby’s arrival. A visit could help you make sure that your pet carries no parasites and doesn’t have diseases, allergies or other problems. It would also be a good idea to talk to your pet’s vet that about a neutering procedure. Sterilized pets tend to be healthier and to be more controllable. They don’t tend to bite or exhibit as much aggressive behavior, for instance.
Read also – 9 Signs Your Kids Are Ready for a Pet
If you don’t plan to let your pet enter your baby’s room, put up a proper barrier weeks ahead of your baby’s arrival. If you feel that it would be best if your pets didn’t have access to your baby’s room at first, you should begin to get it used to the idea. Long before your baby arrives, you should put up a sturdy barrier. A screen door or a removable gate should be all it takes. You do need to make sure that the barrier you get can be seen through. If you pick an opaque barrier, your pet will be shut out all day and end up feeling isolated.
5. Get your pet used to a bit of a rough treatment
When people interact with young babies, they delight in everything they do – even if they scream right in their ears or pull their hair. While people are able to appreciate everything that babies do, animals may interpret sharp noises or a baby’s playful kicks and swats as threats. Babies tend to touch pet animals right on the face, pull their tail and so on.
Pet animals, then, need to be desensitized to a bit of harmless roughing up. It’s easy to do this. You need to take a little time to pet your dog in sensitive places – the insides of the ears, the face, the inside of the mouth, the paw pads, the tail and so on. You need to gradually make your petting a bit rougher over time. To make sure that your pet associates such touching with fun, you should make sure that you do bring these sessions during fun playtime hours.
6. It’s important to discourage roughhousing games
Dogs love roughhousing games. If you have indulged your dog in the past, you should stop now. A roughhousing habit could get dangerous when the baby arrives. It wouldn’t do to have your dog think of starting a roughhousing game with your baby.
Read also – 10 Reasons Your Children Should Own a Pet
7. Once the baby is born…
Many new parents bring the baby’s blanket home to place next to the pet prior to bringing the baby home. This can help a pet get used to the scent of the baby,
8. The day you bring your baby home
When you carry your baby in the door, you need to make sure that your pet doesn’t feel left out. You should set you baby down and greet your pet one-on-one to make sure that it sees that it is still important. It should be a good idea to keep your baby and the pet separate over the first day. The second day onwards, you should include your pet in many baby-related activities to make sure that he simply sees your baby as a new friend, rather than as competition.
9. Don’t forget about your pet
Make efforts each day to ensure that your pet knows he’s still important. It’s essential to think of fun activities for your dog each day, to set aside quality time for play and so on. The happier your dog is, the more easy it will be for you to make sure that it gets along with the baby.