Introducing Your Pet to Your Baby

Animals are sensitive to newcomers infringing on their territory. When you bring your new baby home, your cat or dog may experience some jealousy, which can manifest in aggression or anxiety. However, some pets may be more generous towards the newcomer and integrate them into the household with no issues. There are some preventative measures you can undertake to ensure the transition goes smoothly, as well as guidelines for after your baby arrives.

Take a Training Refresher
You have nine months to prepare for your baby’s arrival – those preparations should include giving your pet a crash course in canine behaviour. Having an out-of-control dog who does not listen to your commands can be dangerous around a young child. Enrol your dog to a dog training courses well in advance. If your dog’s manners are up to par, just practice sits and stays at home. If you have a puppy, crate training is essential when you need to confine your pet. Work with your dog in the time before you bring your bundle of joy home, and you’ll find things around the house run much smoother!

Visit Your Vet and Groomer
While the mom-to-be has regular doctor’s appointments, it is important to keep track of your pet’s health as well.

  • Schedule a check-up for your cat or dog in advance to avoid any surprise health scares. If your pet has any pre-existing conditions, your vet can evaluate their status.
  • Getting rid of any parasites, such as fleas or tapeworms, is also essential before you bring a baby home.

About a week before the baby’s arrival, give your pet a grooming session:

  • A nail clipping, ear cleaning, and tooth brushing.
  • If your cat or dog has long fur, this is the time for a fur cut!
  • Cats need to have their claws trimmed; felines may accidentally clip a baby’s skin, causing injury.

Grooming reduces dander and cast-off fur, which newborns can be sensitive to.

Acclimate Your Pet

If possible, set up the baby’s room a few months in advance to get your cat or dog used to its presence. Some parents prefer to keep the nursery pet-free, so now is the time to establish boundaries for your dog. Allow your dog to sniff around the room, but don’t allow him or her to remain inside unsupervised. If your pet tends to mark his or her territory, keep a close eye to prevent this from occurring.

Dogs with noise phobias should be gradually introduced to infant crying; play recordings and give your pet positive reinforcement.

Before the new mom comes home from the hospital, have another family member or friend bring home a piece of the newborn’s clothing – a hat, sock, blanket – for your pet to smell. When the proud parents come home, allow your pet to sniff around each family member, minus baby. After everyone has calmed down, ask your dog to sit. Gradually bring the dog closer to the baby, until they are within a foot of each other; some gentle sniffing should occur, and the meeting will be over! Provide “Me Time” For Your Pet

Dogs and cats can feel neglected after a new family member is brought home. It’s important to make sure you spend time with your pet, maintaining the daily routine you have built up with your dog or cat. There will be some unavoidable changes that come with adding a new human to the household, but try to keep the same feeding, walking, and bathroom break times as before.

Some pets can develop separation anxiety or exhibit destructive behaviours and aggression if emotionally neglected. Regular walks or jogs with your dog can be important bonding times and show your pet how much they are still loved and cared for. With pre-emptive measures, you can ensure the safety of the human and animal members of your household and an overall happy and busy family.

© 2014, Copyright 2014 Aon Singapore Pte Ltd Co Reg No.198301525W. All Rights Reserved.

This article is intended for general information purposes only and is subject to change without notice. It should not be construed as advice or opinions on any specific facts or circumstances. The content of this article is made available on an “as is” basis, without any warranty of any kind, express or implied, including as to accuracy, completeness or otherwise at the time of initial publication or thereafter. To the extent permitted by law, Aon disclaims any responsibility or liability to any person or organization for any loss or damage caused by or resulting from any reliance placed on that content whatsoever. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any way or by any means, including photocopying or recording, without the written permission of the copyright holder, application for which should be addressed to the copyright holder.

Happy Tails Insurance is underwritten by MSIG Insurance (Singapore) Pte Ltd and arranged by Aon Singapore Pte Ltd.

About Happy Tails

Underwritten by MSIG Singapore and arranged by Aon Singapore, Happy Tails pet insurance protects your hard earned savings from the costs of unexpected medical treatment required to keep your dog or cat healthy.

Happy Tails is the first standalone online pet insurance in Singapore with annual coverage of up to $12,500. We cover the big bills from surgical treatments, specified hereditary and congenital conditions, cancer and chemotherapy and more.

At Happy Tails, we want to make pet insurance readily accessible, thus it can be purchased directly from your mobile phones! Like you, your furry friend can be covered too! Protect them with Happy Tails today!
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