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  • Writer's pictureJan

How to help your dog or cat adjust to a new baby in the house

It’s an exciting time waiting for a new baby to arrive. There is so much planning which goes into setting up the nursery, buying the pram, choosing a name as well as thinking about the kind of parent you would like to be. One thing you should consider is how to make the transition easy for your beloved fur baby as they will need to adjust to having a new little human in the house. They will soon realise that they are not going to be the centre of attention. Start preparing them for the arrival of bub before he or she is born.

Whilst pregnant start playing a recording of baby sounds to your pet so that they can get used to the noises your little one will be making, it will also make your pet less anxious once your baby arrives.

Encourage your pet to sleep in a separate area to where your baby will be sleeping, particularly if your pet likes to sleep in the spare room which is going to be the nursery.

Take your pet for a check up with your vet to rule out any medical conditions, particularly if they have fleas or worms. It is also beneficial if your pet is elderly as they may have a health issue which has gone by unnoticed.

Use baby scented products on your skin so that your pet can get used to the smells associated with babies and so they feel secure with those smells. Get someone to bring home a blanket from the hospital which will have your baby’s scent on it as your fur baby can get used to the smell of a new human in the house before they arrive home. It is also good to let your pet sniff around the nursery furniture and pram.

Once you are home from the hospital do not force an introduction but instead let your pet come and check your baby out when they are ready. Allow your pet to sniff your baby and to spend time looking at your baby but never ever leave them alone.

Do observe your pet’s body language when they are around your baby. If your fur baby is hissing or growling you need to keep the two separate. Do not discipline or punish your pet because next time they might go into attack mode without a warning.

It goes without saying not to let your pet and baby share one another’s toys.

Invest in a net to put over the cot or pram so that your baby is protected from pets wanting to snuggle up. Never leave your baby alone with your pet no matter how much you trust them.

It is so important to give your pet lots of love and attention once the baby is here. It is a huge adjustment for your pet and it’s not easy for you when you are wanting to grab a well earned nap. Even a new toy or a treat will show your fur baby that you still care.

There are so many exciting times ahead as you embrace a new chapter in your lives. Enjoy seeing the bond which builds between your child and your fur baby as they grow together. No words can express how wonderful this can be for the whole family. So many happy memories waiting to be made.

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