Preparing Your Dog or Cat for a New Baby
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Even pets get jealous when a new baby enters the house! Preparing your dog or cat for a new baby is necessary to keep your newborn safe. Use these easy pet training tools to create harmony between baby and pet.
Transcript: There's no reason that Spot or Fluffy can't get along with your family's newest addition! You love your...
There's no reason that Spot or Fluffy can't get along with your family's newest addition! You love your pet, and want harmony when baby comes, so it makes sense to start preparing your pet early on in your pregnancy for the family's new arrival. Set up a cozy, special spot for your pet, and encourage your pet to spend time there. Stock it with a blanket, water, food, favorite toys, and a litter box for a cat. However, a pregnant woman should avoid handling a dirty litter box completely, as cat feces can contain certain germs that are very dangerous to a developing fetus. This offers your animal a safe retreat when over-stimulated by the baby... If there will be a new set of rules, like no sleeping in Mommy and Daddy's bed, for instance, introduce them in the second trimester so that your pet won't associate the potential feeling of rejection with the baby's arrival. This also gets your pet accustomed to spending occasional time alone and out of the way. Begin by desensitizing your pet to the rough handling your kids can dole out. Places to touch your pet to acclimate them include between the paw pads, on the face, tail, and in the ears and mouth. Do this daily and offer treats for cooperation. Next, you'll want to familiarize your pet with baby sounds and smells. To do it, buy a disc of baby noises, or borrow a friend's infant and tape her laughing and crying. Play the recordings around your pet at increasingly higher volumes, so he becomes accustomed to the noise. To help your pet accept a baby's scent, start wearing baby lotion or powder daily. And after the baby is born, ask a friend to bring home a blanket that the baby has been sleeping in. Introduce your infant's smell to your pet in a positive way-by allowing him to sleep on the baby-scented linen. Before the birth, you can also ask a friend with an infant to visit, which allows your pet to experience a real baby. Some experts also recommend that you occasionally carry a bundle of blankets, or-even better-a moving, talking baby doll. You may feel silly doing it, but this gets your pet used to the idea of your hands and attention being otherwise occupied. If you have a dog, use the time before the birth to reinforce his basic training commands, including, "sit" and "stay." And if your pet is a jumper, discourage the habit by placing double stick tape on the baby's changing table and crib. Once your baby is ready to come home from the hospital, have someone else carry your infant so that you can greet your excited pet. To further ensure that your animal doesn't feel threatened, pick a neutral spot, like the front yard, or the lobby of your building, to make the introduction to the newest member of your family. It may take your infant some time to get used to your pet too, particularly if you have a dog. If your baby is bothered by barking, keep a white-noise machine or fan in the nursery. And use that private space you've carved out for the dog to keep the two apart for now. Remember, though, that your baby has been hearing barking since before she was born, so your little one may not give it a second thought! And while your pet and baby get acquainted, be mindful that your animal may feel neglected by the new arrival. Keep up your routine and... Carve out a few minutes to spend with your sweet pet every day, and you'll help ensure harmony in your newly expanded family.More »
Last Modified: 2013-03-26 | Tags »
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