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August 21, 2018

4 Tips to Get Your Pet Ready for Baby

Ask the Veterinarian, Alison

My due date is closely approaching and we could not be more excited to welcome our first child into this world.  Currently we have a Labrador and a Maltese, who are our beloved first children, and we are worried about them adjusting to our new baby.  Any tips on things we can do to get our pets ready for the family transition?

This is a great question and one I commonly receive from clients at my animal hospital.  There is a lot that goes into getting your dog ready for the new baby to make the transition a smooth one. Here are my top tips for new parents with pets:

  • Make a plan.  With all the prepping and preparing for your little one's arrival, make sure to include your pet on your busy schedule so you can introduce some training and get them adjusted to lifestyle changes.
  • Teach your pet basic obedience training skills.  This may be the most important part of preparing your pet.  Having a new baby is stressful and can be overwhelming.  It is imperative that your per listens and obeys your commands.
  • Get your pet ready.  Four months before your baby’s arrival, gradually introduce your pet to new experiences, sights, sounds and smells to help prepare them for big lifestyle changes.
  • Anticipate Changes.  1 to 2 months before you baby’s arrival, anticipate changes that you will make to your dog’s daily routine, and start introducing those changes.

 

I want to stress how important it is that if your dog has ever shown aggression towards children, to always be very careful and aware when your dog is around your child.  This behavior is instinctual for certain dogs and although a dog can be worked with and trained, the behavior may never 100% go away.   No matter how extensive the training has been, ALWAYS be aware and proactive in scenarios that involve your children.

And don’t forget, most dogs and cats adjust well to new family members.  It just takes some time and patience. It is easy to get caught up in the stress of everything.  Try to enjoy the process and take lots of cute pics of your babies together.

 

 


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