The Dog Training
Bringing home your new baby is an exciting time. It can also mean many changes for your dog or cat. You can help your four-legged family member adjust with some planning and preparation. Read on to learn how to introduce your pet to a baby.
Why is preparing your dog or cat for a baby important your pet is part of the family. Bringing a new baby home can cause disruption to your pet's daily life. Think about it from your pet's perspective. Suddenly there is another person, only smaller, with sounds, smells and movements that are different from yours.
This can be uncomfortable for your pet. Your dog or cat may associate this stress with the baby and this negative impression may persist. That is why it is important to prepare dogs and cats for the baby's arrival home. Before you introduce your dog to your baby, it's especially important to start gradual changes before you bring your baby home.
5 ways to prepare a pet for a baby
"It's best to make gradual changes to your pet's routine instead of making sudden changes when the baby is born," explains Rugen McGowan, Purina's Chief Scientist, Human/Animal Bond. Fortunately, pregnancy gives you a few months to prepare your pet for the baby's arrival.
Adjust your pet's routine to be consistent
Make special one-on-one time with your pet
Brush up on your dog's obedience training
Create several pet-free zones in the house
Introduce your pet to baby equipment such as strollers
Why do dogs need more grooming than cats?
There are several reasons why dogs need more time to adjust to changes in your home. Dogs usually have a set routine. This will probably all change once the baby is born. A new routine along with new sounds and smells could be upsetting for your dog. That's why it's important to take the time to prepare your dog for the new baby.
Tips for bringing your baby home
If mom comes alone, "it gives the pets time to say hello without jumping on the baby," McGowan says.
Then bring the baby inside to a pet-free room so your dog or cat can smell and hear the sounds your baby makes.
"For dogs in particular, it can be helpful to get to know a helper who leads the dog on a leash into a neutral room where you sit and hold the baby," McGowan explains. This gives your dog the opportunity to approach you and the baby calmly .Introducing a cat to a baby is different than introducing a dog to a baby. Get another person to help you with the cat (or cats). While you sit and
hold the baby, have your helper carry the cat and join you. This gives your cat a chance to approach and withdraw on its own.
Part of the fun of bringing in a new puppy or dog is finding the perfect name for them. But did you know that some names are better for training? It helps to consider a short name ending in a strong consonant that he always hears clearly. A strong ending, as in the names "Jasper," "Jack," and "Ginger," perks up puppy ears—especially when you put emphasis on the ending.
If your new pet is an older dog, they are probably used to their name at this point. However, its change is not excluded. And if your new friend is recovering from an abusive situation, a new name might even represent a fresh start. Dogs are extremely adaptable. If you decide to give them a new name, use it consistently and your puppy will soon pick up on it.
Whatever they are called, be sure to associate them with fun, pleasant experiences as much as possible, rather than negative ones. Ideally, your puppy should think of his name the same way he thinks of other fun things like walks or dinner.
Decide on house rules
Before your new furry friend comes home, decide what he can and can't do. Are they allowed on the bed or furniture? Are parts of the house off limits? Will they have their own chair at your dining table? If the rules are determined early, you can avoid confusion – for both of you.