Having a baby in the house is a big adjustment for pets, who not only have
to get used to sharing the attention but also to being poked and prodded
by curious little hands. Fortunately, your pet and your baby can become
the best of friends with just a little help from you. If you’re
worried about how your pet and baby will get along, your
veterinarian can give offer some advice. These tips will also help.
The earlier you start preparing your pet for your baby’s arrival,
the better the outcome is likely to be. You don’t have to wait to
bring the baby home but instead can start early in the pregnancy. Take
this pre-baby time to make sure your pet understands basic verbal commands
that could come in handy when your baby is home. Working on things like
not jumping up on people can also be helpful, particularly for dogs, so
your pet doesn’t jump on your baby or jump on you when you’re
carrying your newborn.
Create a Safe Space
The noise and activity that come with a new baby can be stressful for pets,
especially older pets, who may sometimes need to retreat to a quiet space
for a time. A laundry room or a crate can work well for this need. Before
the baby comes, set the space up with things that your pet needs and enjoys,
from a water dish to favorite toys, and encourage your pet to start spending
time there. When the baby is home and things get to be too much for your
pet, he or she can retreat there.
Babies and toddlers have a tendency to poke pets, pull fur, touch paw pads,
and otherwise interact with pets in ways the pet make not initially like.
Desensitize your pet by practicing this kind of handling in advance, and
rewarding him or her with a treat or with praise when touching is tolerated.
Chastain Veterinary Medical Group can help you get your pet ready for a smooth transition as your family
grows, plus offer essential pet care, including dog and cat neutering
and spaying, pet dental services, and more. Make an appointment with one
of our veterinarians in Dallas, today, by calling (972) 239-1309 or for
our McKinney location, call (972) 529-5033.