If you’re getting ready to welcome a baby, first, congratulations! Second, if you have a pet, have you thought about how you’ll make the introduction?
It might seem like a small or insignificant thing, but if your pet has always enjoyed being in the spotlight, their initial meet-and-greet could be a tad rough.
The American Kennel Club luckily has some great tips and tricks for you for when that time comes. Below are a few:
- Change your pet’s routine gradually. The AKC says you don’t want your dog to associate the changes with the baby, so go through the baby’s routine with your pet before bringing the baby home.
- Lessen the amount of play. This one could be tricky if you have a super playful pet, but you don’t want to “last-minute lavish your [pet] with affection, only to have it stop when the baby comes home.”
- Play a recording of baby sounds. This will allow your pet to adjust to the new noise.
- Acclimate your pet to baby’s smell. Bring them an article of clothing, a baby blanket or something similar.
- Keep some space between pet and baby. Let them get used to the smell and sound for a few days from a distance, then after a few days bring them closer on a leash, and after that off leash.
- Give your pet attention when baby is around. “You don’t want [your pet] to decide good things only happen when the baby isn’t”
- “Never leave even the most trusted dog alone with a baby or small child.” You never know what could happen if the baby suddenly pulls on their ears or tail out of playfulness. Remember: “Even the most tolerant [pet] has its limits.”
For more information and ideas on how to introduce your pet to baby, click here.
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