Are you or a fellow pet owner expecting a baby? You’ll want to prepare your furry “baby” for the big changes ahead. If your companion animal is not used to children, you want them to get comfortable with them prior to bringing your baby home. Positive experiences with babies will make your pet welcome the arrival of your new bundle of joy. By having him meet as many well behaved children and babies as possible, always incorporating those moments with positive associations such as food and other rewards, he’ll quickly form a strong association. Conversely, drastically decreasing attention, scolding and changing your routine once the baby arrives will add stress on your pet. Consider these tips to help the transition go more smoothly: Address any pet training and behavior problems right away. Have your pet become familiar with baby smells (baby oil, baby powder) and sounds (baby recordings available!) before the baby arrives. Also, try visuals like carrying a baby doll or pushing a stroller. Once the baby comes home, make sure to include your dog or cat in some of the family activities. When feeding or cuddling baby, hand-feed Buster favorite foods. He’ll quickly become interested in everything the baby does – even crying! – but remember to spend some alone time with your companion animal also. Other tips include: Introduce the baby gradually to the pet and supervise all interactions. Remember you want him to have a positive experience in association with the baby so use plenty of treats and praise. Maintain a regular routine as much as possible to help your pet adjust.

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