Your fur baby is the love of your life, but Fido or Fluffy is about to take a backseat to the newest arrival. Not only is a baby a huge adjustment for you, it’s also a big change for your pet. Don’t expect the animal to automatically accept the baby, especially since much of your affection and attention will now be diverted elsewhere. The good news is that there are things you can do to prepare for bringing your child home.
First, try to see things from your pet’s perspective. All of a sudden, you’re being ignored and perhaps aren’t allowed to go into areas of your home that were previously free reign. You also have absolutely no idea who this crying human is or why you’re not top priority anymore. It’s easy to see why your pet can be hurt and upset.
As soon as you find out you’re expecting a baby, try to simulate the future environment for your pet. This can include making the nursery off limits, playing a recording of a crying baby or finally teaching your pet not to jump. It will help ease the transition once the baby arrives. Anything you can do to help prepare your pet will make things easier for everyone, including you.
You should also try to estimate how much time you’ll be able to dedicate to your pet after the baby arrives. Are you sure you can take on those daily trips to the dog park? You might want to start phasing them out now. As difficult as it may be, it’s best to get your pet used to a little less attention so they don’t get as hurt in a few months.
Practice Makes Perfect
A lot of things will change with a baby, and you might become more sensitive to things that may seem unrelated. For example, maybe you’ll switch to a catch and release mouse trap with your newfound respect for life. Maybe you’ll discover a new or increased spiritual calling you want to share with your child. Anything new or different should get underway as soon as possible so your furry friend can have time to adjust.
Undoubtedly, your pet will get less attention when you have a baby. While that’s a fact, it doesn’t make it fair. Make sure you carve out time to still spoil your fur baby. Your daily walks might now include a stroller, but they’re still a special time for you and your dog.
Take your pet to the vet for a general checkup to make sure he’s healthy. If your pet doesn’t care for nail trims, now is the time to make it a habit. If your pet is especially sensitive, you can even carry a baby doll around the home or swaddle it, so that your pet gets used to the new sight of you.
Most importantly, nip any training issues in the bud. You might think it’s cute now that your pet is desperate to jump in your lap, but it’s not so cute (not to mention dangerous) when you have a baby. By always staying prepared, you can make the transition for your entire family easy.
Image credit: Russ