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How To Introduce Your Pet To Your New Baby

A baby and a dog laying in bed together

Having a baby changes everything — for you, your family and your pet. We all know change can shake things up. Luckily, with a little preparation and the right attitude, you can introduce your pet to the new baby without trouble. Training your pet to associate feelings of calm, positivity and love with your new baby is a must.

Prepare Your Pet For The First Meeting With Your Baby

There are several things you can do at home to prepare your pet for your baby’s homecoming, including:

  • Play sounds in the background of babies crying or screaming to accustom your pet to new noises (YouTube is an excellent resource for this).
  • Make gradual changes to your pet’s routine. Switching up when you feed or walk your pet, or even where it sleeps, will prepare it for a more significant change.
  • Train your pet with a rug or mat. Before the newborn arrives, make sure you’ve prepared your pet to go to its special mat on command. That way, when you bring your baby home, you have a way to redirect your pet in the event of needing alone time with your newborn.

Getting Pets Comfortable With Babies

Once you have the baby and are ready to take it home, there are several ways you can successfully introduce him or her to your pet. First, make sure you greet your pet alone before allowing it to see and smell your baby. This way, if your pet gets excited, it will jump and lick you instead of posing a potential threat to your newborn.

Give your pet the chance to adjust to the baby’s smells and sounds without being in the same room — this goes for formula, lotions, blankets and other items. To foster a positive association between your pet and newborn, try to follow these tips:

  • Stay calm and positive when holding your baby. Your pet will pick up on your feelings and associate them with the new bundle in your arms.
  • Give your pet attention while your baby is around and not just when it’s absent. If your pet notices it only gets attention when your baby is in another room, it might associate the newborn with negative feelings.
  • Try not to scold your dog if it touches or chews the baby’s toys. Again, punishing your pet may cause it to associate “bad” things with your newborn or its toys. Simply take the baby toy away from your pet and replace it with something more suitable for chewing or teething.
  • Allow your pet to smell your baby first while controlled on a leash. Praise your pet so it associates positive feelings with the newborn.

Contact University Animal Clinic Today

If you need more information on how to introduce your pet to your baby, reach out to University Animal Clinic by calling 941-355-7707. Or, schedule an appointment online and experience our compassionate pet care in person if you live in Sarasota, Bradenton or Lakewood Ranch.