Your pet (s) may have been your first babies and they taught you about being responsible for another living thing. It’s normal to fear your furbaby’s reaction to your newborn. Your pet (s) are just as part of your family as your newest human addition.
Animals tend to mirror human behaviour. Ever had a bad day and the dog or cat senses it? If you have a dog, then you already know that you are the pack leader. You’ll want to remain as calm as possible as you can around your dog.
If your delivering at a hospital or birth centre, see if you can bring home a piece of clothing or receiving blanket with the baby’s scent on it and leave it out for your pooch to sniff and get introduced to. Once you arrive home, you’ll always want to have another adult with the dog and baby.
Cats can be different than dogs and often want to be left alone and may snap or become aggressive to someone new in their space. Watch out if the cat starts to go to the bathroom other than their litter box. If your cat is a climber, cat proof where your baby will be sleeping so they won’t jump in.
Having pets are a great way to teach children responsibility but also need to teach your kids to handle your pets gently. You may think its a great idea to take a selfie of your baby riding fido’s back but could turn into a disaster. Reward your pet and try to spend alone time with them rather its on their walk or playing with the cat and their favourite toys.
Just like other siblings, pets will become aware there is someone new in your life and may feel left out. If your pet is acting out towards your newborn, you can call in an animal behaviourist for advice and support.
Pets and Newborns Tips:
- Bring something home from the hospital or birth centre with baby’s scent for your pet to become used to
- Always have an adult present in the same room as the dog and newborn
- Spend quality TLC time with your pet – long walk, playing with their favourite toy
- The calmer you, the pack leader is, the calmer your pet will be
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support with other family members