Top Tips for Introducing Your Child to Your Pet
There are many parallels between parenting a pet and raising a kid, but they both provide their special brand of delight to a household. Use these tips for prepping your pet for your new baby to enjoy the experience thoroughly.
1. Go to the Vet
Ensure your pet is healthy and has had all its shots and vaccinations before bringing baby home. Consider spaying or neutering your pet if you haven’t already.
2. Train Your Pets
Before the baby comes, practice basic manners with your dog so that they are familiar with them and can readily do them when instructed. Teaching basic commands such as “stay” and “sit” is vital for controlling your dog while holding the newborn and keeping the baby safe. You’ll have your arms full after the baby arrives, and the last thing you need is 50 pounds of a dog climbing up on you to smell the infant!
3. Get Your Pet Acclimated to Being in the Presence of Children
Introduce your pet to friends’ children in modest doses to teach them how to behave with little humans. They’ll smell differently than your child, but it’s a start for your pet. Cats, in particular, may require some time to acclimate to all the new baby sounds. Their hearing is extremely acute, so either expose them to other children or discover an internet playlist of “baby noises for pets.”
Prepare your dog for the arrival of your new baby. To keep the dog calm, offer him lots of activities to help burn off energy.
4. Introduce Them Gradually
When you get back home from the hospital, welcome the pet as usual. While one parent stays in the vehicle with the infant, the other enters and welcomes the pet. Return to the baby, whereas the other individual greets the pet.
During their first introduction meeting, keep dogs on a leash. Stay relaxed and calm when you bring the infant inside, so your pet follows your cue. Allow the dog to smell and examine the newborn from a safe distance. Allow your dog to get closer and closer to the infant every day, so they learn the boundaries with the newborn.
5. Teach Your Baby
Teach your child how to interact with and manage pets. Show them how to be kind by not tugging their ears or tails, prodding at jowls, or touching them too hard, regardless of how well-intended. You might train your child not to feed them human food as they get older.
The five tips we’ve provided above will guarantee that everything goes smoothly when you introduce your baby to your pet.
This blog post was first published on WFMCHealth.org.