If you’re expecting a baby, it’s smart to start preparing your pets now for your little one’s arrival.
While you may assume that Fido or Felix will do well with your baby from the get-go, this isn’t always the case. Many animals don’t know what babies are or how to interact with them. Fortunately, you can condition and familiarize your pet with babies to make the transition smoother.
These tips will help everyone in the house get along.
1. Start making changes to your routine now.
If you’re used to spending all of your free time with your pet, try ratcheting your togetherness down slowly because soon, your baby will be taking up much of your time. Your pet is sensitive to routines, so you’ll want to ease them into these changes. Also start familiarizing your pet with all the new baby supplies and spaces you’ll be setting up.
2. Try exposing your pet to babies.
This could be a friend or relative’s baby. Make sure the baby is being securely held and keep your pet on a leash at first. Don’t let the two actually interact. Instead, simply reward your pet for remaining calm and following your orders when the baby is around.
Now is a good time to start dog training as well. If your dog knows “stay,” “sit,” and “come,” this can help you keep control of them from the very beginning.
3. Introduce baby sounds and smells.
Before your baby arrives home, try playing recordings of baby noises, including crying, laughing, and screaming. This will get your pet used to these sounds.
When your baby is born, bring some of their clothes home from the hospital before bringing your baby home. This will allow your pet to get used to your baby’s scent.
4. Make time for your pet even after your baby arrives.
You’ll undoubtedly become extremely busy and occupied the very day your baby arrives, but still make time for your pet. This will strengthen your relationship and keep your pet happy and healthy, but it will also ensure that your pet doesn’t see your baby as bad news.
Make time to feed, walk, and play with your dog or cat. And keep track of their regular vet checkups too. Talk to our staff at Sunset Veterinary Clinic about putting you on an automatic appointment schedule. We’ll keep you aware of your upcoming appointments so that you never forget!