Living in a family with no kids and no pets can be boring, as the two makes a home both lively and warm. From time immemorial, homeowners have always had pets. According to statistics, up to 47% of all households in western countries have dogs and cats as pets.
Pets are like humans and require special attention just like babies. The good thing is that most pets have no issues accepting a newborn baby into the family. However, it is good to be extra careful in case you are planning to introduce a kid to the household. Always prepare them for that big event.
Is it important to prepare my pets for a new baby?
The preparation process is the same as when a parent makes children understand that they will be soon having a small brother or sister in the family. You see, a pet in a household with no kids believes that all the proper treatment and priority belongs to them. Therefore, if you introduce a newborn without prompting it, you might experience some jealousy with it. Nobody wants that. You want a smooth transition, where the safety of your bundle of joy is guaranteed.
Things to observe when preparing your pet for the new baby in the family
Always necessary to ensure the dog or cat receives regular and timely check-ups with your vet. Make sure it receives vaccines when there is the need. These might be the things you might not have time for when your newborn comes home. Be sure to take the dogs for a walk and also giving them regular exercise, as it makes them relax. Also, consider this before you bring the new baby home.
Bring home the smells and sounds of a baby
Observe when your dog or cat is not stressed up and then play them momentarily increasing the volume. If possible, purchase a realistic baby doll which moves and can make a baby like sounds. The sounds and movement will prepare the pet for what a real baby sounds and looks like. When the dog is calm, and respond well, be sure to reward it with its favourite food around that doll.
When walking it around, be sure to walk it around, at a safe distance, past a group of children. This may be on a playground or a school. Do this as you keenly observe its reactions. If on seeing them it reacts positively, the better. If negative, then you just might have to consult a professional.
Another tip is to bring home anything that you baby wore while in the hospital and have the dog or cat get used to that smell (used nappies, clothing or blankies work well). Alternatively, if you have spent a lot of time away from your pets, they probably must have missed you. Try spending lots of time with the young one in the hospital - then when you get home; greet your pets first before anyone else. This technique has for long fostered a calm interaction between a pets and the new family member. While following all these tips, don’t forget to be rewarding them from time to time with their best dog foods.
Other things to consider include:
- Moving the pet's paraphernalia away from the nursery before your baby arrives.
- Start discouraging it from staying in bed.
- Hire a dog walker or pet sitter who’ll continue to give it exercise and attention.
- Have your animal trainer around in case of any aggressive or problematic behaviours.
When The Baby Arrives at Home
The process does not stop on the arrival of the baby. There are other things you should do to ensure safe and happy relationship continues being fostered. Adopt the culture of rewarding the pet for being calm as you feed the baby. From time to time, have someone to treat the dog or cat (only if it remains calm) as you feed the baby, and have it feed near your feeding chair as this will make it feel included in the whole experience.
Other Things to Consider When the Baby is Home
- You may now hire a helper or trainer to continue with other introductions.
- Have it smell and greet the rest of the family members before you get the baby inside.
- Other pets too should greet the child while on the leash for safety purposes.
- Whenever the pet reacts negatively, it is safe that you remove the child or animal from that area immediately and seek help from a specialist.
It is best not to leave the dog or cat food left in the bowl on the floor, or the pet's favourite toys lying around, because when your infant starts crawling around, they may get to it. Animals are known to be territorial with their food and some toys, and you do not want to imagine what might happen to your baby when they lash out.
Overall, use these tips, and for sure you will have a smooth transmission for your child to the family.
About the Author:
I'm Brenda Leary. I have passion for dogs. My ambition is to found a community for dogaholics that everyone could share useful knowledge about dogs.
I'm here to break down all the complex dog's tips/advices and try my best to give you the stuff that actually useful and works!
Follow my steps at Cuddle Your Dogs to discover dogs' daily routines, tips and advices on caring a dog/puppy and many many things about this wonderful world.