Introducing babies and pets
The prospect of introducing your new human baby to your original furry family member is exciting, but can also be a little daunting. Here are some tips for easing the transition for your pet, and keeping bub safe!
Prepare your pet for your baby’s arrival
Several months in advance, book a consultation with us to ensure your pet is up-to-date with all preventative treatments (such as vaccinations, tick, flea and worming prevention). It can be easy to lose track of these things!
If your pet is boisterous or ever shows anxious or aggressive behaviours, we can also recommend a veterinary behaviourist to assist you in positively modifying your pet’s behaviour in advance of your little one’s arrival.
It’s a great idea to bring a blanket to the hospital that you can wrap bub in (to get their scent on) and then have someone take this to your home. Your pet should be allowed to sniff the blanket scent, whilst being offered gentle praise and treats to create positive associations.
When you’re bringing your baby home for the first time, it’s helpful to have a family member or partner available to cuddle the baby outside, whilst you go into the house to greet your pet (as your pet will likely be very excited to see you!) Once your pet has calmed down, they can be introduced to the baby. It’s best to clip a lead onto dogs, so they can be pulled away gently if they are being too boisterous, or showing very intense (potentially predatory) focus on the baby.
As long as your pet is behaving appropriately, try to offer them gentle praise or intermittent treats when the baby is around to create positive associations. You should never leave your pet and baby unsupervised together.
Careful management early on will help set your pet and child up for a beautiful relationship!
Please call us if you have any questions about introducing pets and children.