How to have a pet safe for your baby

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The arrival of a new baby in your home is a life-altering event for you and members of your family and also for your pet/s also.

Generally most new parents try to work out how their pet/s will respond and behave towards the new comer and many new parents have to deal with this new situation.

Some of the points that you need to take decisions about include:
– will my pet/s be jealous of the new baby?
– will the dog bite the new baby?
– how do I train my dog or my cat to get used to and accept the new baby?
and of course vice versa – your baby has to accept the pets as well?

Our new baby advice guide details some guidelines to follow when you arrive home with the new baby and the family dog/s or cat/s are aware of the new baby for the first time. If you feel that your pet is or maybe a threat in any way, there are any animal rescue groups that will take dogs and cats, indeed all animals and find them suitable homes should you decide you need to take this coourse of action once the new baby comes home.

baby and dog

Familiarize the dog or cat with the baby clothes that you plan on using. Some time before your baby is due put the new baby furniture etc where your dog or cat can see it, smell it & familiarize itself with it. Put the bassinette where your pet can see it. With these things visible it will enable your dog or cat to get used to the items being around the house and when the new baby comes home, your pet will think nothing of that play-pen that is taking up a lot of space in the room nor the baby’s bedding & toys. Allow your pet sniff and smell all the new things oyu have for the baby.

Before you leave the hospital with your baby have one of your family take home a piece of clothing that your new baby has been wearing and let your dog and/or cat sniff it in order to familiarize itself with the new baby’s smells. Put the clothing into the bassinette so the scent permeates the room and the furniture.

The arrival home with the baby will be a big day and it is at this time that you do not forget those days, before you had the baby, that you were always greeted by your dog or cat and you greeted your pet in return. Now you will have a baby whom you will need to feed, change & take care of – and this is a time when you also need to give at least a few minutes to your pet just as you did before the new arrival. Ensure your husband or a friend or family member gives your dog and/or cat lots of attention when you cannot and then your pet will still feel loved. Always allow your dog or cat to smell the new baby, under careful supervision naturally, for just a few seconds.

Your pets will quickly become very used to the baby in the home, but always remember that it does not matter how much you trust your dog or cat never ever leave your baby alone in the same room with the pet – do not hesitate to use baby-gates or keep the doors firmly closed. When your baby begins to crawl & later walk, be aware because your curious child might think it is fun to play with the dog or cat, pulling their tail etc, an action your pet may not like at all.

Always be watchful – but please do remember that in due course children and pets form a very special bond as they grow up together and grow to love one another over the years.

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