Our pets are more in tune with us than you might realize. They understand when you’re happy or when you’re sad. They also understand when big changes happen, like a move or a pregnancy. But just because they pick up on the vibes, doesn’t mean they full comprehend what the changes mean. When you add somebody new to your family, you have so many things to think about; how your pet reacts is probably far down on your list of priorities. However, it is an important thing to think about and should be dealt with appropriately.
Try Not to Change Everything at Once
Older and nervous animals especially hate change around the house, so they won’t be too please if you move, or start adding new pieces of furniture to your existing home. Rather than do everything all at once, change gradually over a few months up to your baby’s arrival. This will help your pet adapt and stop them from freaking out.
Introduce Your Pet To The Sent
Before introducing your new addition to your pet, try getting them used to your baby’s scent first. First, use a clean blanket and wrap your baby in it. Then use that blanket and put it under your pet’s bed or somewhere they frequent. This will familiarize your pet with your baby without them even laying eyes on the new family member.
Establish Boundaries Around the Nursery.
At first, the nursery should be off limits to your pet. If you have a dog, train them to stay out of the room. A cat can be a little more difficult, but you can close the door, if possible. Eventually you can allow your dog or cat to explore and sniff the nursery for short periods of time.
Control the Interactions
You should be careful with the first few interactions between your pet and your baby. They should start off with very short meetings and see how it goes. If it’s successful, gradually extend their time together. If you have an especially hyperactive dog, try taking them for a long walk to drain them of energy. No matter what type of pet you have, be sure to control them. Sometimes even misplaced excitement can cause trouble.
Teach Your Child Correct Behaviour
Once your child has grown a little and is in the exploratory state, it’s important to teach them not to bother the pet. Children will generally want to rough house with your pet, to pull on tails or ears, and sometimes even hit. Correct behavioural lessons have to be taught early. Too many children have inadvertently provoked otherwise peaceful pets simply because they were unsupervised or their parents had not taught them properly.
Safety Comes First
If you have a dog that likes to get dirty you will need to make sure the house stays clean, especially in the first months of bringing your baby home. You don’t want your home to be filled with dirt and germs when your baby is around.
If you’ve tried all these steps and nothing seems to work, you should contact a professional for specific advice. If the living situation isn’t working then don’t let it fester. The longer your baby and pet can’t get along, the more difficult it is to get a solution. Call Us for any recommendations or help with any of the suggestions.