During pregnancy, many women focus on the baby and tend to ignore others in the family. If you are a dog or a cat person, it is necessary to prepare your pets for the day your baby arrives home. It is natural for parents to provide undivided attention to their newborn baby which may lead to reduced importance and attention towards the pets. Sometimes, pets become competitive, arrogant or territorial when a new member gets all the attention.
It is necessary to prepare your pet before and after childbirth so that your dogs and cats get used to the new member in the family. Here, some of the tips to help you prepare your pets to get along with the baby:
- Before your delivery, start to cut back play time and jogging routines with your pet. Gradually reduce the time you spend with your pets so that they will get used to it when the baby arrives.
- Avoid tug of war and other wrestling games with your dog long before your baby is born. Although they seem nice and enjoyable for your dog, it is better this way when your baby arrives. Your pet will not be ferocious; instead it will be caring and affectionate to the new member in the family.
- If your dog shows territorial instinct or arrogant behaviour towards children, get professional help. Let experienced dog trainers help in training your pet with positive reinforcement about boundaries and good behaviour.
- Introduce baby blankets, towels, powder, baby scent etc., which helps your pet to well behave when the baby arrives. After the baby is born, you can take your dog and the baby for a walk. This will show the dog that it is not missing any love and affection from you.
- Teach boundaries between the baby and your pet and appreciate good behaviour with rewards and treats. Also let the dog stay away from the bed and crib to make sure the baby is safe.
- Do not leave the baby or the toddler alone with your dog. It is better to have an adult supervision at all times as dogs are competitive and territorial. You can follow this for at least 3-4 years till your toddler grows up.
- Spend some pet time with your dog; go for a walk, have little play time or hug your dog at least once a day. Remember your pet was an integral part in your life and family before the baby arrived so devote some time for your pet too.