Infants and Their Four Legged Siblings


The family dog greets the newborn baby.

Just like new parents need to be prepared for their new addition, so do the four-legged kids in your house. Pets are very aware something different is going on with their owners. Here are a few tips to help prepare your furry friends for your new addition:

Make sure your pet is healthy – Before your due date take your pet for a routine trip to the vet to make sure everything is up to date. This might also be a great time to get their nails/claws trimmed.

Address any behavioral problems – Ask your vet or local trainer about anxiety and training that could be done. Now is the time to address those concerns before you bring your baby home.

Give them a scent – Bring home a small item, like a burp cloth or blanket, from the hospital after the baby is born. Let your pet sniff the item so they can recognize the scent when the baby comes home.

Introduce them – Take a special time, after your initial greeting with the pet, to introduce your pet to your baby. Use treats and reward appropriate behavior, but don’t force any interaction. 

Maintain regular routines – Life will be chaotic caring for a newborn, but do the best you can to maintain a regular routine with your pet. This will help your pet adjust.

Always supervise and be observant – Make sure you are always in the same room as your pet and baby. While the initial anxiety might fade away, it could return once the child becomes mobile.