CMOTC mom Kathleen P. found this great article on preparing your pets for the pending birth of your multiples and wanted to share it with everyone as a great resource. Thank you Kathleen!
Below are several suggestions for a smooth transition for both your children and pets.
- Take your pet to the veterinarian for a routine health exam and necessary vaccinations.
- Spay or neuter your pet. The pet will have fewer health problems and also may be calmer (less likely to bite).
- Consult with a veterinarian and pediatrician if the thought of your newborn interacting with the family pet is a concern. By working with experts before the baby is born, you can resolve problems early and put your mind at ease.
- Address any pet training and behavior problems. If your pet exhibits fear and anxiety, now is the time to get help from an animal behavior specialist.
- If your pet’s behavior includes gentle nibbling, pouncing, or swatting at you and others, redirect that behavior to appropriate objects.
- Train your pet to remain calmly on the floor beside you until you invite him on your lap, which will soon cradle a newborn.
- Consider enrolling in a training class with your dog, and practice training techniques.
- Training allows you to safely and humanely control your dog’s behavior and enhances the bond between you and your pet.
- Encourage friends with infants to visit your home to accustom your pet to babies. Always supervise all pets with infant/children interactions.
- Accustom your pet to baby-related noises months before the baby is expected. For example, play recording of baby crying, turn on the mechanical infant swing, and us the rocking chair. Make these positive experiences for your pet by offering a treat or playtime.
- To discourage your pet from jumping on the baby’s crib and changing table, apply double –stick tape to the furniture.
- If the baby’s room will be off-limits to your pet, install a sturdy barrier such as a removable gate. Because the barrier will still allow your pet to see and hear what’s happening in the room, they will feel less isolated from the family and more comfortable with the new baby noises.
- You can use a baby doll to help your pet get used to the real thing; carry around a swaddled doll, your dog will then get use to the routine.
- Talk to your pet about the baby, using the baby’s name you selected.
- Sprinkle baby powder/baby oil on yourself so the pet gets used to the new smells.
When you come home with your babies.
- Make arrangements for your pet ahead of time, since you and your spouse will both be spending time at the hospital. Try to stay on same schedule of letting them out, food, walks and attention.
- Be stocked on pet food and treats (always make sure they have water).
- If pet is with a dog sitter/friend/family always have a letter prepared if your pet requires medical attention, leave them the veterinarian contact information.
- Have your spouse/dog sitter share a blanket that the baby was swaddled in at the hospital, so the dog can get use to the scent.
- When you get home, walk in first to see your pet, they are mostly likely stressed from not seeing you for so many days. Give a treat and make a fuss to see them.
- Then bring in the babies in the carrier, using the babies name show the pet, even let them sniff.
How about all of you? Any more advice on how to prepare your pets? Stories to tell? Please share!