Are you expecting a new baby to enter your lives soon? What an exciting time! Your fur kids will have noticed a change in the atmosphere in the house, and they will likely be wondering what all the fuss is about. It is very important to prepare your pets as much as you can for the arrival of your new baby, and the sooner you start the better! Here are a few things you can do during your pregnancy and after the arrival of your beautiful baby to ensure that the transition is as smooth and comfortable for your pets as possible.
- Slowly introduce them to a change in routine
There is no doubt that things will change when baby arrives home, it is inevitable! Dogs and cats are routine based creatures, so keep in mind that if there is a sudden change to their known routine (like missing their walk every day, or a change to feeding time!) it will unsettle them and take time for them to adjust. The last thing you want is for them to be feeling neglected, upset, or confused, wondering what they have done wrong to be missing their usual activities.
Start by changing up their routine before baby arrives, so that they do not association these changes with the arrival of your newborn. Switch up the days that you walk them or take them to the park, alter their meal times by taking substituting their normal meal time for some couch cuddles instead and feed them afterwards, or have a friend or family member come over and take them for their outing in place of you – just for a while!
It will show them that life is still the same, and you are still there for them, but that things can change without a dramatic impact to their usual activities.
- Give them some basic training
Showing your pet boundaries before your baby arrives is essential. You want them to understand that there may be certain places in the house (such as baby’s room), or certain objects (such as baby’s cot) that they will have boundaries from. Even if you pet has never had training before, teaching them basic commands to help them understand those boundaries will be a huge benefit to them, and they will feel safe and secure being given these commands.
If you are not sure where to start, contact your local dog training company and they will help you set up an appointment time and work with you and your pets.
- Introduce your new baby’s scent
Often, you will be staying in hospital for a couple of days. If you pet is at home, they will be wondering where you are, and very soon they will be seeing you arrive home with your new bub in your arms. Dogs in particular have an incredibly sensitive sense of smell, and the smell of your new baby will overwhelm them.
To help make this change as positive as possible for your family pets, have someone take home an outfit or blanket that your new baby has been sleeping with, so that they have a head start on the sensory overload!
- Send your pet to your local pet care facility for a holiday!
Those first few weeks of being a new parent is stressful and exhausting. For many families, sending your pet away to your local pet care facility is the best option, where they will be doted on and cared for while you put all your energies into getting on top of your new routines in the house. Once things have settled down at home, your pet can come back and be properly introduced to their new human sibling!
Remember, as hard as it may be with so much to think about with your new baby, remember to never stop showing your fur kids that you care. Set aside some dedicated time for them every day where you can hand your baby to someone else and get your fix of love for your devoted fur kid.
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