When you discover that your “furbaby” will no longer be the only baby in the home, it’s important to take steps to ensure a safe, healthy, and smooth integration of adding a new family member. Once you’ve made sure your pet is up to date on vaccinations, some simple preparations can help guarantee that your pet and new baby become best friends.

Make necessary changes now. Don’t wait until the baby has arrived to make new rules, take charge of behavior problems now to keep your baby’s environment as calm as possible.

  1. Make new rules. If pets are allowed on furniture, it’s time to teach them to keep off. Putting a pet at eye level with a baby increases the chance of injury.
  2. Relocate beds and litter boxes. Allow pets to get used to their new space well in advance. This should be far away from the baby commotion, giving your pet their own area to relax.
  3. Set up the gear. Let your pet become accustomed to the look and smell of new items a baby will need such as the crib, swing, bassinet, bottles, and  baby powders. Set them up well in advance and establish if pets will be allowed in this space or not.
  4. Desensitize your pet. When a child gets a bit older, it’s likely they will touch the pet in sensitive places like the ears, mouth, paws and tail. Train your pet to emit no reaction when being touched in these areas.
  5. Set aside “quality time.” Exercise is important to protect against hyperactivity or aggression, and remind your pet they are still loved. Plan ahead and designate specific times each week you will spend time only with your pet.
Remember, if your animal shows signs of stress, or aggression around your baby it may be time to isolate them from any contact with the baby and consult a trainer.