Before we have kids, our pets are truly the apples of our eye and the only babies of the house. And you may find yourself both anxious and excited about how your fur-baby is going to react to your new, human baby! Getting ready for a new baby means big changes ahead for your household and your pet is most definitely going to pick up on the shift in energy as your due date approaches. So, what can you do to help prepare your pets for the new arrival? Let’s take a look at what you can do to prepare your precious fur-baby for their new human sibling.
Curb Any Bad Habits
If your fur-baby is currently the only baby of the house, you’ve probably let them develop some bad habits. This may range from feeding your pup from the table to letting your cat have complete free reign of the house (and the furniture!). If your dog or cat engages in any bad habits that you know could become stressful when your baby is born, start curbing these habits now. It’s important to start making these changes well before the baby’s born, as the new arrival will be enough of a transition for everyone - including your confused pet!
Pet-Proof Your Home
You may think that baby-proofing your home would be the first thing on your to-do list, when in fact, pet-proofing your home will be high on your list of priorities as well! Well before your baby arrives, it’s important to not only start establishing boundaries with baby gates, but to give your fur-baby an area of the house where they can feel safe and secure, away from the inevitable noise and stress of the baby! Be sure that your pet knows that the baby’s furniture is a definite no, no for climbing on and to create a basket for your pet’s toys that is completely separate from the baby’s - dogs love a good stuffed animal and will assume your baby’s toys are theirs!
Talk To Your Vet
Not only should you talk to your vet about ensuring your pet is up to date on any essential shots, but it’s important to bring up any potentially concerning behaviors. You may already be aware that your pet is the jealous type, especially around other animals or children (or anyone else who you dare give your attention to!). Ask your vet if they have any advice on how to curb behaviors such as jumping up or barking, or how to ease their anxiety around children. If a dog or cat hasn’t been raised around children, they may not know what to make of these tiny, crying creatures!
Make Sure You Continue To Shower Them With Love and Affection!
Of course, there will be a shift in your priorities when it comes to giving out attention when the baby is born. And no matter how much they may want it, your dog or cat just can't be at the centre of it all anymore. Regardless, it’s so important to make sure that you’re continuing to shower your fur-baby with all of the love and attention possible, before and after your new addition is brought home. This will allow your pets to continue to feel secure in the household and will help them understand that your new baby is an extension of your family - not some tiny imposter that’s stealing their mommy or daddy away!
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