parents walking their baby and their pet dog.
dads & mums

Puppy love: introducing baby to your pet, and helping them get along

2 minutes

If you have a beloved family pet, the chances are they take up a significant amount of your time and attention. So, the concept of adding a new baby into the mix can be a little daunting.

After all, your dog jumping on the bed and waking you in the middle of the night is irritating enough now – what about when you’ve already been up three times with the baby? And if you have a cat that brings ‘presents’ into the house (mice, birds, even frogs) - what if a little person gets their hands on them?

Well, it’s true that handling both pet and baby does require some time and effort but trust us, it will get easier and you won’t regret it.

To help your baby and pet get off on the right foot (or paw?), here are a few tried-and-tested tips:

Ways to prepare your pet before the baby comes home

  • Buy any new furniture and equipment needed well before your due date, to allow your pet to become accustomed to it and no longer curious by the time the baby arrives.

  • If certain areas such as the nursery are to be out of bounds, enforce this rule as soon as possible, so that it is well established by the time baby arrives.

  • Play baby crying sounds (these can easily be found online) to get your dog used to the noise.

  • Once the baby is born but before bringing him or her home, it might be helpful to give your pet an item of the baby’s clothing, so they become familiar with their scent.

Ways to cope with baby and pet once they’re both in the home

  • Introduce your baby to your pet at a time when both are nice and calm.

  • Keep up normal routines with your pet, in terms of walks, meal and treat-time.

  • Look into pet pheromone products, such as plug-ins, as these can sometimes help to calm anxious dogs.

  • It’s easy to become germ-obsessed with a newborn baby, so if your dog wants to sniff and lick them, it can be slightly stressful. Dog germs should be fairly harmless, but if you are worried, just allow them to sniff and lick the baby’s feet.

  • Never leave both pet and baby unattended, no matter how much you trust them.

  • Dogs have to receive regular flea treatments, so look into non-toxic options to avoid harming little ones if they come into contact.

Anyone who grew up with pets as a child looks back fondly on it, so do have faith that your baby and pet will be a treasured relationship - it may just take a little time. For more information and advice, check out our wide range of articles about adjusting to a newborn.

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