Updated: Jun 12, 2020
Are you are pregnant? Wondering how to best prepare your pet for a new baby coming into their home?
In this series I will illustrate best practices how to prepare your fur baby for your human baby. Stay tuned for a future blog posts on bringing baby home, and children with babies.
Take Your Pet to the Vet
Take your pet for a medical checkup. Be sure your pet is up-to-date on vaccines (rabies shots are a must) and that she is flea- and tick-free. Ask your vet about using a pill version or other method that’s effective against these pests and safe to use around a baby.
If your sleeping arrangements will change once baby arrives then make that change sooner rather than later so that your pet doesn’t experience too many changes at once.
Although our mommy and daddy still let us sleep on the bed with them, we prefer to sleep on the floor (in a big fuzzy bed mommy got us) when our new baby brother cries too much.
Make sure to offer your four-legged baby some sleeping options in a baby-free zone with their favorite blanket or toy! It is not always love at first sight
You will not want your pet to be in your baby’s room without supervision, so please accustom your pet to this before baby arrives even if the room is not finished yet. One good option is a baby gate that keeps your pet out but still allows him to see and hear what is happening in the room. If you plan on gating off other areas of the house, it is best to do so before baby arrives so there are less changes occurring at once.
Don’t leave your pet’s food out in the open. If your pet’s food-and-water station is in a spot your baby will later be able to access move it to a place that’s out of reach, or at least doesn’t invite a curious crawler. You don’t want her sampling the kibble (it’s not fit for humans and a choking hazard) or bugging your pooch during his dinner.
Teach your dog some new tricks. Good behavior tricks, that is. At the very least, he should respond to these simple commands: “Sit,” “Down,” “Stay,” “Come” and “Off” (a signal that he needs to get back on all fours if he jumps on someone). Even if you didn’t take him to obedience school as a pup, it’s not too late for him to pick up the basics. Your vet can help you find a trainer or class that’s appropriate for your dog’s breed, temperament and age. (It’s harder to teach a cat to behave, but cats usually run away when they feel threatened.)
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