How to Help Your Pet Adjust to a New Baby

List: Posted: 12/05/11

The addition of a baby to your family can be an unsettling experience for your pet.  You can expect your pet to be jealous of all the attention lavished on the new addition, as your pet will feel that the baby has usurped its position in the family.  However, there are ways that you can make the transition easier for your pet.


Get the Pet Neutered


Before the baby is born, you need to make sure that your pet is spayed or neutered, as this will help to calm him or her down.  Visit the pet store and buy a selection of chew toys that you can distract your pet with and keep its attention away from the baby.

Baby Train Your Pet


You also need to make sure that your pet is properly trained for the arrival of the baby.  You should get your pet accustomed to sounds that will be common when the baby arrives – a rocking chair or a swing, for example.  You might also invest in a CD of "baby sounds" and play that for your pet regularly.


Introduce the Scent of the Baby


Once the baby arrives, make sure that you let your pet smell the baby's clothing or baby supplies that has the baby's scent on it before bringing the little one home.  On first arriving home after giving birth, make sure that you are able to greet your pet properly – don't hold the baby while doing this.  Have someone else carry the baby into the house.


Maintain a Routine


You also need to make sure that you maintain any set routines for your pet – walking times, feeding times, play times, etc.  This will help your pet maintain a sense of normalcy and help keep jealousy and resentment down to a minimum.  


You also should never force your pet to interact with the baby, and never ever leave the baby unattended with your pet.  Even a kitten can inflict injury on your baby by accidentally scratching it, or by introducing fleas or worms to its environment.


Use Caution


If your pet has had a history of becoming aggressive when jealous, it's often best to re-home the pet and not take any chances of trying to have the baby and pet interact.  If you want to move your pet outside to keep it out of the house, you can also help your pet transition to becoming an outside animal instead of an indoor one where the baby will be.

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        The material in this article is for informational purposes only. The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of See Additional Information

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