Preparing Your Pet for a New Baby
How to ensure a safe and smooth transition for your cat or dog, baby and you. Plus find out to Help Your Pet and Baby Bond.
Understand How a Baby Will Affect Your Pet
For many couples who don’t yet have kids, their pet is their baby. You may sleep with your pet, travel with your pet, make homemade food for your pet, and spend your weekends at the park with your pet. It makes sense, then, that the introduction of a human baby rocks your pet’s world. His daily life is drastically disrupted (animals are creatures of habit), he doesn’t get nearly as much attention, and he may be fearful of the new screaming beast in his home (his territory). In short, the arrival of baby is stressful for your dog or cat.
Animals exhibit stress in different ways, from house-soiling and vomiting to clinginess and increased barking or whining to aggressive behavior.
Taking gradual steps to adapt your pet to what her new life will be like can go a long way in minimizing that stress and preventing those negative behaviors, says Dr. Melissa Bain, Assistant Professor of Clinical Animal Behavior at the University of California Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.