Congratulations on your upcoming baby! Though your pet may not know it yet, life is about to change drastically. Help prepare your four-legged baby for your two-legged baby by keeping the following six tips in mind.
- Train basic commands first: Before your baby arrives, spend time teaching your pet basic commands, like “sit,” “stay,” “leave it,” and “off,” or sign him up for obedience classes. You’ll appreciate a well-behaved pet when you have your hands full with a new baby.
- Stick to your routine: While there will certainly be changes in routine after your baby is born, try to keep staples—like your pet’s walk, meal, and bedtimes—consistent to help prevent him from resenting your new family member. If you have to make changes, try to make them before the baby arrives to give your pet time to get adjusted.
- Introduce new sounds and smells: The sound of a crying baby can be nerve-wracking to anyone, especially a pet who doesn’t understand what’s going on. Before baby comes home, play a recording of baby noises while giving him treats so he’ll develop positive associations with the new noises in his life. Similarly, use baby lotion and other products you’ll use on baby, and send a blanket home with her smell on it, so your pet will get used to her smell.
- Shower your pet with extra love when you get home: When you arrive home from the hospital, have someone else carry the baby inside so you can pepper your furry companion with plenty of love, praise, and extra special treats right when you walk through the door.
- Create a safe place for your pet: Be sure your pet has a place all his own with comfortable bedding, calming pheromones, and favorite treats and toys that are away from the noise and not accessible by even the most mobile of toddlers.
- Never leave your pet alone with the baby: Even the most well-behaved and mild-mannered pet will not understand how fragile the baby is and will need to learn how to interact with her appropriately. Your pet may inadvertently lay on the baby or knock her baby seat over, causing accidental harm.
If you have any questions or concerns about preparing your pet for your baby, contact us for help.