Preparing A Pet to Meet Your Baby

Taking a new baby home is exciting, but knowing you have a pet at home can make you a little anxious about their reaction. This post gives a few tips on how to prepapre your cat or dog for a baby's arrival and tips for the introduction. oddhogg.com

For many of us our pet is our first baby. He/She has had your undivided attention for probably a few years. They may be used to having the run of the house, cuddles on the sofa and probably know exactly how to get your attention. A new baby not only changes your life but also really affects your pet.

When we were expecting Piglet I was a little worried about how our dog Rodney would react. We took a number of precautions and in the end it turned out we had nothing to worry about.

Here are my top tips for preparing a pet to meet your baby:

  1. Start early. If you’re going to make any major changes you should do it as soon as you find out you are pregnant. In our case, we stopped letting Rodney on to the sofa. This way your pet will not associate the disruption to their routine with a small screaming “thing” thats just come into their house.
  2. Create a safe haven. Rodney had originally been crate trained, but he had come out of it before Piglet was on the scene. We reintroduced the crate while I was pregnant and I’m so glad we did. It is somewhere Rodney is able to go away from the noise and inevitable visitors and get some down time. As we changed the rules around the sofa Rodney now opts to sit in the other room in his crate (with the door open) of an evening rather than sit in the living room with us. He has not been pushed out – it is purely his choice.
  3. Introduce new objects before the baby arrives. Around a month before I was due to have Piglet we set up his moses basket in the living room. The purpose was to stop it being too much change all at once. Rodney was accustomed to the moses so when Piglet arrived and was placed in it the novelty had already worn off.
  4. Make care arrangements. Labour is not often a quick process, so arrangements will need to be made to make sure your pet is looked after. Its not easy when you don’t know when you’ll go into labour but most people will be willing to be flexible if they’re helping you out. I also had some lovely friends help out with walking Rodney once I was home with Piglet to make my life a little easier and make sure his routine wasn’t disturbed.
  5. Smell before meeting. We took a muslin that Piglet had been lying on home for Rodney to sniff before Piglet came home from the hospital. It is a bit like humans putting a face to a name, once Piglet was in the door he was able to recognise the smell. If you’re on the ball you can also give treats as they sniff the object, meaning they will associate that scent with good things.
  6. Control the introduction. Do not let your pet get too close to the baby. You should maintain a distance between them so that they learn to respect a boundary around the baby. Be sure not to discourage curiosity though, its ok for them to want to know whats going on. It should just be carried out in a calm and controlled manner.
  7. Don’t forget your pet. In the excitement of a new baby and lots of visitors its easy for them to get lost in the scuffle. We made sure Rodney was receiving lots of praise and extra things to keep him entertained. To avoid over excitement we opted to keep him separated from most of the visitors, only bringing him through to see those we knew he loved.
  8. Enjoy it. A bond between a child and their pet can be incredibly strong. With guidance and supervision they can be great friends.

Note: No matter how placid you believe your pet to be it is not advised to leave them unattended with a baby or child. Children are unpredictable and can easily frighten a pet, resulting in injury. Always err on the side of caution.

This post was originally shared over on Nap Time Natter.

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Mummascribbles Run Jump Scrap!

 

My Petit Canard
You Baby Me Mummy
A Mum Track Mind

Please note this post may include some affiliate links. This has no effect on you - to find out more please check out the disclosure

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required

Follow:

27 Comments

  1. 11th September 2016 / 10:35 am

    That’s a great post. So many useful points that I would never have thought of like the smell. Thanks for sharing #kcacols

    • OddHogg
      Author
      12th September 2016 / 3:53 pm

      It certainly helped us, especially as our dog is part beagle so he is really led by scent

  2. 12th September 2016 / 10:58 am

    It is a lovely bond that can build, I love your tips for creating this. #MarvMondays

    • OddHogg
      Author
      12th September 2016 / 4:04 pm

      They show more and more interest in each other every day 🙂

  3. 12th September 2016 / 8:20 pm

    So many handy and useful tips here to help settle in 🙂 #marvmondays

  4. 13th September 2016 / 12:12 am

    This brought back so many memories as we had a cat when Caspian was born. I have the cutest video of their first meeting. But he got run over last September and it’s still really painful.

    Great tips though. Thanks for sharing with #KCACOLS Hope you’ll be back next Sunday.

    Nadia – ScandiMummy x

    • OddHogg
      Author
      13th September 2016 / 1:12 pm

      aww I’m sorry about your cat. Lovely that you filmed the first meeting though – we didnt think of that

  5. 14th September 2016 / 10:59 am

    Great tips, I can still remember when we brought Eva home from the hospital and our dog simply went over to her and laid his head on her car seat and didn’t move a muscle. He just knew that this was his job now to protect the new baby, it made me so emotional! When the fourth and fifth came along he wasn’t so enthusiastic, I’m sure he was thinking oh god, how many more?!! #bestandworst

    • OddHogg
      Author
      14th September 2016 / 3:35 pm

      haha! cute that did that – I bet he steered clear of the others!

  6. 14th September 2016 / 6:47 pm

    My cat is still not sure of Arthur. She got run after when he was 3 weeks old (she’s fine now) but my husband says it was her trying to jump in front of a car because of the cat. My husband can be a bit of an arse!! But I agree it’s important to introduce pets and babies carefully! #kcacols

  7. 15th September 2016 / 12:31 am

    This is such an awesome post!!! I’ve found that, more often than not, pets are super excited to meet their new little family members. Sometimes though, especially with bigger dogs (like our husky), that excitement can become a little dangerous to baby. Setting boundaries from the beginning is sooooooo important, and I’m so glad you pointed that out. My dog assumed an immediate protective role once we brought our babe home, it was so wonderful. Thanks for sharing! <3 #KCACOLS

    • OddHogg
      Author
      16th September 2016 / 1:58 pm

      Boundaries are definitely key! It can be a lovely relationship when done it the right way

  8. Sarah (Mum x3x)
    16th September 2016 / 10:32 am

    I love these tips, so helpful. Great post! Introducing new objects is a good one! 🙂 T hanks for sharing #TheList

    • OddHogg
      Author
      16th September 2016 / 2:08 pm

      Glad you liked it!

  9. 16th September 2016 / 11:15 pm

    Fab tips, we hope to get a puppy at some point these are fab tips, thanks so much for sharing #bestandworst

    • OddHogg
      Author
      17th September 2016 / 1:26 am

      Good luck! They’re hard work but so rewarding

  10. 16th September 2016 / 11:30 pm

    Great post! We tried to get the dogs ready for baby by bringing in the large things before the baby arrived… like the pram and cot. I also read the Dogs Trust “Mutternity” guide which was also very helpful #KCACOLS

    • OddHogg
      Author
      17th September 2016 / 1:26 am

      I’ve never heard of that – would have been useful before Piglet came along!

  11. Kaye
    16th September 2016 / 10:48 pm

    Fab, informative post. We’ve been talking about getting a dog for a long time but have decided to now wait until the littl’uns are a bit older so they don’t annoy the crap out of them! Thanks for linking up to #MarvMondays. xo

    • OddHogg
      Author
      17th September 2016 / 1:24 am

      Yes personally given the choice I would wait – but the pooch was here first haha

  12. OddHogg
    Author
    17th September 2016 / 1:39 pm

    absolutely! Its a big adjustment for everyone

  13. 17th September 2016 / 2:23 pm

    Some great tips. I don’t have a pet but it seems to have required a lot of careful planning. Although it sounds like it also paid off! #fortheloveofBLOG

    • OddHogg
      Author
      19th September 2016 / 7:50 pm

      For me it was totally worth the effort that went into prepping him for Piglets arrival, it means he wasn’t negatively affected byt he addition!

  14. 17th September 2016 / 8:41 pm

    There are some really fab tips here. Kimberly. Only problem is, you’ve set me off again wanting a dog!!
    This would make a brilliant infographic on Pinterest – a shortened list of the Do’s and don’ts. I’ve just discovered how much traffice you can get from pinterest after doing LoveChicLivings course. List posts that answer folks questions are in high demand. #Fortheloveofblog

    • OddHogg
      Author
      19th September 2016 / 7:50 pm

      That is a fab idea – I’d never thought to make an infographic! I’ll definitely be updating it sometime soon

  15. 23rd September 2016 / 9:26 pm

    We had to do this earlier in the year when Sophie was born. These are some really useful and sensible tips that should make the transition easier for anyone about to go through it. Thanks for sharing on #fortheloveofBLOG X

  16. OddHogg
    Author
    8th October 2016 / 5:41 pm

    Absolutely! I am constantly frustrated by the number of children that pat Rodney without asking. He’s friendly but they don’t know that!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *