With the Royal couple welcoming Prince George to their home it is natural that their Cocker Spaniel “Lupo” will be feeling a little bit out of place. It is important to prepare pets for the arrival of a new baby in the family and make it as minimally stressful for them as possible. Organisation and training in the months before the baby comes can be of great benefit. A great investment is the book “Tell Your Dog You’re Pregnant” by Behaviour Vet Dr Lewis Kirkham. The book also comes with a CD soundtrack of baby and toy noises to play to your pet. Other ideas are to have your nursery ready early so that pets are used to this being a “pet-free” part of the house. Practice walking your dog with a pram or a doll in a baby carrier in the weeks before your baby arrives so that you both become adept at this. Perhaps introduce your pet to spending more time outside if this is likely to happen when the baby arrives. When you first bring your baby home your pet will be curious about this small, noisy bundle. Allow gentle investigation by your pet such as smelling, but not close enough that they could lick the baby. Speak to your pet in soothing tones with this brief introduction and build up the duration if your pet is relaxed. Most pets will adapt well but of course no pet should ever be left unsupervised with a child. Dr Kirkhams book is available at the Hoppers Crossing Vet Clinic.
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