The arrival of a new baby is a time for joy in the household and many changes as well.
It’s important for your pet to learn to adjust and accept the baby as a family member. Sounds, smells, new noises are new experiences for your pet. Here are some tips to make the transition easier for all.
Before the baby’s arrival, play CDs or videos of babies and the sounds they make. Invite people with their babies to your home. Allow your pet to explore the baby’s room and any items you’ve changed at home. Decide what is appropriate behavior and begin training your pet to behave in the manner you wish. If you’ve allowed your dog to jump up on people, now is the time to change this behavior as you wouldn’t want him jumping on the baby.
Set up a special place for your pet with a food dish, water bowl, bed, toys and a litter box for a cat. This will allow your pet to have a quiet, relaxing area all its own.
Before bringing baby home from the hospital, take an item that has your baby’s smell on it and let your pet sniff it while giving your pet treats. In that way you’re training your pet to have positive feelings associated with baby.
Your schedule will change so try to set up the new routine.
Allow a special time for just you and your pet and continue this routine after the baby’s arrival, with and without the baby in the room. Both you and your pet will appreciate these special times.
Introduce the baby to your pet, all the while offering a treat.
Try to involve your pet in activities with the baby. You can walk your baby in the carriage or stroller and your dog on the leash. Allow your cat and/or dog to sit nearby when holding the baby.
Your pet should be able to associate positive feelings and sounds with the baby, so keep treats nearby and speak in a pleasant voice. Of course, watch those calories with the treats.
Most pets will accept the new baby easily into the family and often view the baby as one who it must protect and love.