Pets are like your children. If you do not have children when you get a pet, the pet is “all important” and gets lots of attention and affection. If you get pregnant and there is a pet in the house, you will need to take considerations for the pet. The pet is not going to like becoming second and may be jealous. The pet might not accept a “stranger” in the house either. You will need to prepare your pet. You will also need to monitor your pet with your children and never leave them alone together. Your child’s safety is top priority.
When I found out I was pregnant with my first child I had a cat and dog. It took me a while to get pregnant, but I knew I wanted everything to be perfect for my child. I came home to see my dog chewing on molding and my cat laying on the couch hoping to have the chance to dare someone to move her. That is when the realization set in that I might have a problem.
The cat was antisocial and hated children. She was never around any until my nephew visited. The cat would clear out when someone brought the baby into the room. The mother tried to pet the cat after changing a diaper and the cat swung at her. We guessed that the cat smelled the baby. I was worried that the cat might come after my baby.
As for the dog, she was a different matter. I knew she would never hurt anyone on purpose. I was more worried about her not seeing the baby and walking on her. The dog was not only a klutz, but acted like the animated Goofy on Disney. If you ever wanted to meet Goofy, my dog was it.
The cat always slept on the bed with me. I would let her sleep near my tummy in hopes that she would somehow get the idea that the baby was part of the family. I made sure to get the baby stuff before the baby was due so the cat would see it and would learn it was not for her. If the cat went near the baby toys I would say no and chase her away. Eventually, she stopped. The dog, well she really did not care.
I have always heard to let the dog smell a blanket that was on the baby before you bring the baby into the house. Well, not only did I do that, but I also let the cat smell it. I made sure both would be good to the baby. I was more worried about the cat than the dog.
When I brought my daughter home the dog sniffed her and I sat the baby carrier next to me and let the cat sniff too. I swear this cat was once a dog. The baby got a nose nudge so I was happy and off the cat went to mope.
It’s important to be in the room if you ever have your child and your pets in the same room. A baby is so small and defenseless that an animal can hurt a baby not meaning to. It is a good idea to buy baby gates or pet gates and use them.
Even if you are in the room with your baby, if you are going to put the baby on the floor, the bigger pets should not be allowed in the room. Bigger pets can accidentally hurt a child just by bumping into the baby or even wagging their tail. Small animals may become aggressive. Leave all pets out of the room when your baby is on the floor.
Feed yourself and your baby before you feed your pets. Make sure the pets see the people eating first. This is important to establish hierarchy. When dogs ran in packs the leader would always eat first. Animals still have that mind set. This is also a good training technique for your pet.
Make sure to give your pets attention after spending time with your children. This way the animals will know they are still loved. Pets are family too.
Keeping your children safe around your pets will be easy once everyone is in a routine. Make sure your child does not aggravate your pet and follow these simple tips to keep everyone happy and healthy, including the animal.