The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : Bringing Home Baby to a Dog’s World

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Bringing Home Baby to a Dog’s World

The scenario is far too common. The happy, expecting couple stroll into the clinic with their four-legged child for her Annual Wellness Exam. The first born of the family is healthy and has a great check-up so I turn my attention to the parents who are expecting their first two-legged child. “Have you starting thinking about how you will introduce your new baby?” All of the sudden, the happy couple becomes the bewildered couple and stares at me with the “deer in the headlights” look. I know it’s time to have “the talk”. Bringing home baby to a pet who has ‘ruled the roost’ for years can be done. We have a few guidelines for you.Many soon-to-be parents don’t realize that without proper precautions and planning, their new bundle of joy will be their pet’s worst nightmare and is even at risk to be harmed by their pet.

It is important that every pet owner who is expecting a child follow a few easy steps to ensure the new addition to the family is a happy addition.

1) Allow your pet to becomes used to “baby stuff” before the big day comes. While babies themselves are terrifying enough for pets, all their stuff can be even worse. Strollers, cribs, toys, high chairs, and car seats are all brand new items for your pet to adjust to. Stock the nursery early and allow your pets time to get used to all the new stuff before their is a screaming child who is taking all your time and energy sitting in them. Even going on walks with the empty stroller or having bonding time in the baby-less nursery can put your pets at ease. If your pet is anxious or scared around new noises, play recordings of baby noises in the months leading up to the delivery. Start at low levels that your pet doesn’t react to and slowly work up to “real life” levels. Do positive things with your pets such as eating, giving treats, brushing, and playing during these noise desensitization sessions to allow your pet to become comfortable with the change.

2)Teach a calm, controlled behavior. Many dogs get excited around new people and like to jump up on them to greet them. Teach your dog to “sit” or “lay” and make them do it before they receive anything (food, treats, toys, affection, etc.). Think of it as teaching your dog to  say “please” before they get something they want. Pets with good manners are less likely to injure children or be scolded by adults who are holding children. Remember, we want having a baby to be a happy experience for the pets and constantly getting scolded because the baby is around will lead to further fear and anxiety for your pet.

To  read more on this story, click here: Bringing Home Baby to a Dog’s World




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