How to successfully introduce your pet to your new baby

If you’re planning to have a baby soon and own pets, a scary thought you may need to prepare for is introducing your baby to your resident animal (or animals). Like all introductions, this can be tiresome and may be scary, especially if this is your first child. However, there are many steps you can take to ensure this pet and baby introduction is a success. They include: 


Consider exposing your pet to little ones

If you have friends or family with kids, training your dog or cat to understand their tendencies can make the process all the easier when it comes time to introduce your future bub. As little people can do unpredictable things, such as pulling pets’ tails or cuddling animals, this is something that may take a little getting used to. So, exposure is key. 

Start by going for walks with your mum friends to show your dog what a little human looks like. Or, invite them over so your cat can get familiar with these usually louder humans. Over time, you can begin encouraging play to make your pet more familiar with the different movements and actions of children.


Teach important commands 

If your pet doesn’t know commands such as back or off, this is the time to teach them. They can be super important, especially if your baby is in a crib and your pet is getting too close. Teaching them these commands can also make excited pets all the more familiar with the importance of creating distance and setting boundaries. It’s particularly useful for jumpy pets, who may not mean it, but may accidentally harm little ones when they get too excited. 


Have a care plan in place 

Though you will have your pet’s best intentions at heart, a baby is a lot of work. Having a plan for how you will walk your dog, play with your cat and provide grooming, even with a baby in the house, can avoid jealousy and the feeling of being left out. Try switching roles with your partner occasionally, so one looks after the baby and the other the pet, so your furry friends always feel loved. 

Remember. There’s also no shame in hiring a dog walker or a pet sitter if you still want to give your pet the love it deserves, but you don’t have the time to meet all its care needs during those first few months after giving birth. 


Send home a special item from your baby 

Bringing a baby home will be a big change for your pet. Sending home an item, such as a blanket or beanie, with your baby’s scent on it, is one strategy to alleviate tension. This is because your dog or cat will have the time to become familiar with their smell and won’t feel as threatened (or curious) when you bring your baby home for the first time. 


Keep them separate

Even the best pets can act out of place when excited or curious. So, keeping your pet and baby separate overnight and when you can’t monitor them can prevent dangerous accidents. 


The PetNest Team is Here To Help

At PetNest, we have a range of products that can help make the introduction phase all the easier. This includes anxiety-alleviation drops and medications that can make those first critical days of introduction all the less nerve-wracking for your family. If you need help introducing your pet and new baby and are not sure where to begin, you can also reach out to us at any time.