Introducing your pet to your new bundle of joy can be worrying for some. You don’t know how they will react when you first bring the baby home. Our fur babies are often treated like our babies, that is until we actually have a human baby.
We don’t want any accidents to happen or your fur baby to feel left out, so by having some guidelines to follow will help.
Setting boundaries when introducing your pet to your newborn is so very important. Animals need boundaries and often feel unnerved if they don’t have any to follow. You can start even before the babies born if you need to. The specific boundaries need to be around the cot, change table, buggy, bouncers and floor mats.
Give them plenty of attention
So your furry friend will be used to having all of your undivided attention up until now, so it can be very unsettling for them. By giving them plenty of attention, love and regular walks, they will soon realise that you still want them around.
Be aware of your energy
Dogs can read how you are feeling very easily, so if you are nervous or uptight about the union then they will pick up on it. Get yourself and your animal into a calm state first and then start the introduction.
Claim your baby's scent
You may have heard of this already but it is so important. Animals, especially dogs just love smelling everything and recognising the different scents. A great way to do this is by giving them a used peace of clothing with the babies scent on before you come home, this will get them used to the scent.
Calm environment on introduction
Make sure there are no visitors around when you get home as the animal might feel threatened and not respond as well as you would have hoped. Give them time to settle in, let them sniff the babies hair, with you right there for support and encouragement. Give them plenty of praise when they are gentle and respectful.
Once your baby is a bit older, it is your job to teach them to be caring and gentle so that they don’t hurt the animal. I have seen so many animals rehoused or put down because they have defended themselves from an aggressive toddler.
It doesn’t have to be complicated or unnerving when introducing your pet for the first time, just follow the guidelines and give them plenty of attention. Sometimes they just need a quick pat on the head or a walk with just you.
For animals that are struggling, it might be worth looking into getting some help so that they can learn new behaviour.
For more informative pregnancy, birth and baby articles, read our Maternity Mum blog.