Preparing Your Pets for Your New Baby

Many couples begin their families by welcoming their first “child,” a fur baby.  This cuddly one has been the center of your universe until, of course, you became pregnant.  Here are 8 steps you can take to make the transition of adding another family member a little easier for everyone, especially your furry friend.

  1. Begin the transition early

    - Enroll your pet in obedience classes to learn the basic skills he/she needs
    - Socialize your pet by taking him/her out in public
  2. Establish the nursery space

    - Allows your pet to see that something is changing
    - Gives the pet opportunity to explore baby items
  3. Introduce baby items to your pet

    - Allow your pet to investigate anything that will be a vital part of baby's daily routine
    - Take your pet for a walk along side of the stroller to teach them how to appropriately walk with baby
  4. Carry around a life like baby doll

    - Practice feeding, carrying and rocking to get your pet used to change in daily routine
    - Use the doll to teach your pet gentle interactions and get used to new baby sounds such as crying. Find a doll that cries or use a recording along with your doll
  5. Line up sitters for your pet for when you're away

    - It is best if it is someone your pet is familiar with
  6. Introduce baby's scent to your pet first

    - Have your partner bring home a blanket or article of clothing that your baby wore or had wrapped around them at the hospital. Place this item somewhere that the pet is able to easily investigate
  7. Greet your pet first when you return home

    - Sit down with baby and introduce him/her to your pet once they have calmed down
  8. Have a plan for exercise for your pet once you're home and spending a majority of your time with baby

    - Pet walker
    - Doggie daycare

Bringing a baby home is a huge transition for you and your partner.  Don't forget that this is also a stressful time for your pets.  Make sure you take the steps necessary to make this transition as smooth as possible for them.