Your pet is part of the family. Bringing a new baby home can cause a disruption in your pet’s daily life. Think about it from your pet’s perspective. Suddenly there’s another human, only smaller, with sounds, smells and moves that are different from yours.
This can be distressing for your pet. Your dog or cat may associate this stress with the baby, and that negative impression can last. That’s why it’s important to prepare both dogs and cats for your baby’s arrival home. Before introducing your dog to the baby, it’s especially important to start making gradual changes before bringing your baby home.
“It’s best to make gradual changes in your pet’s routine rather than abrupt changes when the baby arrives,” explains Ragen McGowan, Purina Senior Scientist, Human/Animal Bond. Fortunately, pregnancy gives you several months to prepare your pet for your baby’s arrival.
Adjust your pet’s routine to one you can keep consistent
Carve out special one-on-one times with your pet
Brush up on obedience training for your dog
Create a few pet-free zones in the house
Introduce your pet to baby equipment like strollers
Reward your pet for calm behavior with praise and special treats.
Give your pet plenty of attention when the baby is in the room. Your pet will associate positive experiences with the baby.
Never leave your pet alone with the baby, no matter how easy-going or friendly your pet may be.
A well-planned, positive introduction will help your pet and your new baby develop a deep and loving bond that can last a lifetime.