Taking Care Of Pets With A New Baby8 min read

 In General, News



Before a young couple have children pets are often treated like royalty.  They are groomed every couple of weeks and eat the best dog or cat food known to man.  They get superb medical care as needed.  This often changes once a couple have children.  The pets are often relegated to the back seat in family life.  This is very easy to understand.  Newborn infants take a tremendous amount of time and a tremendous amount of money to do it right.  Every parent knows that you are physically drained at the end of the day.  How can I take the dog for a walk when I am so exhausted?  The fact is that dogs and cats need to be taken care of regardless of whether a child is present or not.  It may be rough at first but you will enjoy it when your child and pets are bonded together.  Watching them all play in the yard is great.  Taking care of pets and kids does take work and personal responsibility.  It all starts way at the beginning!




Once you know you are pregnant it is important to not only prepare for the newborn but also do things to facilitate your pet’s life.  There are medical items for your pets that are going to come up when you are:  too tired, your feet hurt and you have run out of energy.  Better to do these things early on.


Taking care of pets involves putting out a blanket that a baby in the hospital slept in and putting it on the floor for pets to smell.



After having brought the new infant home for the first time, remember one simple rule that should never be broken.  Never, ever leave a infant alone with any pet.  Even though you left out a used baby blanket several days earlier do not take any chances.  To some animals the new infant is foreign or perceived as a threat.  In my years of medical practice I was always told by clients, with a friendly dog on an exam room table, that “Fifi has never bitten anyone in her life”.  I retorted that any dog can and will bite under the right circumstances.  So just be careful.  Never do what I heard a client do once- to get the baby’s scent accepted by their Doberman Pinscher they lowered the baby’s head right to the level of the dog.  Do not do that.  In time all pets will accept the new baby as a member of “their” family.

Cats have always been the butt of many jokes or old wives tales that get passed from generation to generation.  Every time I heard that a cat can “suck the air out of a baby” I just laughed.  Totally ridiculous!  If you own a cat(s) you will usually find the cat curled up sound asleep in the baby’s crib because the crib is nice and comfy and warm!

In the first few months of having a new infant at home pay extra attention to your dogs and cats.  This is very similar when an older sibling discovers a new baby (competitor) in the house.  This individual gets jealous of all the attention that the new baby is getting.  Every parent goes through this.   Dogs and cats can show their displeasure by urinating or defecating in the home.  Dogs characteristically “punish” someone by defecating on the bed pillow of the “guilty party”.

Every family unit is different.  There are no two pets that are alike like there are no two people that are alike.  Taking care of pets under these circumstances is just a part of life.  These basic, general tips will keep you and your newborn safe.  Veterinarians not only treat animal problems but help to promote public health.

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