All set to make your pet a big brother or sister? Your pet may be more aware of the change than you think. When you begin decorating the baby room, your dog or cat can sense the difference. And just like an older, human child they too are likely to feel like they are being dislodged from their numero uno status. Studies have also shown that parents with a newborn tend to spend less time with their pets. However, with a little planning, you can ensure that your pet welcomes the new baby. Here are five things you can do to prepare your pet for the little one:
Acquaint Your Pet With The New Arrival
When you are designing the nursery and your home for the little one, don’t leave your pet out. Prepare your pet to adjust to these new changes by allowing them to explore the surroundings. Guide them through the nursery and let them sniff around. To secure the infant’s crib, you can either install baby gates for your dog, or you can cover it with the net to prevent your cat from jumping in. Your kitty may react by spraying urine or escaping to a hiding place. To avoid this, ensure that your cat has easy access to litter boxes, food, and water – at multiple places. For your doggie, you can use a doll to get them used to another presence. During their walk, push an empty stroller so that they are prepared when your routine changes for real. You could also play CDs with babies crying or gurgling so that they know what a baby sounds like.
Reset Your Life
With the added responsibility of an infant, it is only natural that you will have less time for your pet. You can focus on spending quality time with your pet instead of aiming for endless hours. In the days before the baby comes into the world, take a careful look at your schedule and slot your activities with your pet – whether it is a walk or play time. To ensure that you keep track of your pet’s health and vaccinations, download the Activ4Pets app.
Get All The Help You Can
Don’t hesitate to rope in all the help you can get, especially in the initial days, when you are new to the whole parenting and sleepless nights jig. Before the baby makes an entrance, put together a comprehensive list of dog walkers, friends, and family who will be willing to take your dog for walks and spend time with him. When you have a few minutes on hand, squeeze in a few snuggles and kisses so that your pet knows your care.
Pet Meets Baby
Once you have welcomed the baby into the world, introduce them to your pet immediately. You can even send over the baby’s blanket or an item of clothing before you leave the hospital so that your pet can sniff it and be acquainted with the baby’s smell. When you get home, try to create a routine for your pet. And do not try to force new habits. For example, if your pet was allowed to relax with you on the bed or couch before, don’t chase them off the couch now. Similarly, don’t keep them from entering rooms or corners that were allowed in before. Instead, carve out comfortable spaces exclusively for them so that they feel like they belong.
Keep An Eye Out
No matter how smooth the initial interactions go, you have to supervise the interactions between your pet and your baby. Despite all the cute internet videos, dogs have been known to attack babies especially if the infant makes sudden movements. Similarly, cats can suddenly jump on your unsuspecting baby or sit on them. So, it is best not to leave them alone. If your pet is having trouble following instructions during interactions, then, ask your veterinarian, through an Online e-Consultation on the Activ4Pets app, to recommend the best obedience school in your area.
Having pets and babies under the same roof can have plenty of your benefits for your child. It can improve their immunity, better their social skills, and teach them responsibility. All you need to do is hold their tiny hands and paws through the first steps and, then, watch them develop a beautiful bond.