The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : How to Prepare Your Pet for Your New Baby

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

How to Prepare Your Pet for Your New Baby

There's nothing as exciting as preparing for the birth of a baby. While you're planning the color of the nursery and picking out items for your baby registry, don't overlook one very important step in getting ready for your new baby - preparing the family pet.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA)  says, shelters are still visited by tearful mothers-to-be with cats in tow, having made their appointments after well-meaning relatives or old-school obstetricians have convinced them that keeping a cat risks the health and well-being of their unborn child. Don't succumb to these old wives' tales. Knowing the facts will help provide ways to safeguard both fetus and feline.

You never, ever want to leave any animal alone with a baby. Your cat should never sleep with your baby, because a cat can accidentally smother an infant. There can also be severe allergic reactions at that age. Other people will think, ‘My dog loves people, so it’s okay to leave him in the room with the baby for just a minute,’ but it’s not true. Dogs don’t recognize babies as human beings for the first few months of their lives. For some reason, the baby’s smell is different than an adult’s and a newborn also sounds like an injured rabbit. This can spark an animal’s prey drive, even in an otherwise calm dog.

When you are in the room with the dog and the baby, make sure that the baby is always higher, physically, than the dog. You want the dog to know that the baby is dominant over him. Having pets and kids together can be a great experience. You just always want to err on the side of caution with how you handle it.


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