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Advice on how to introduce new baby to dog and cat?

(28 Posts)

Title says it all, really.

We have a 5 year old black labrador, Archie, who is a loving, affectionate but occasionally exciteable dog. He is well trained, understands lots of commands and I have no concerns about him being aggressive, more about him getting anxious/neurotic about the new arrival, as he tends to whine when we have visitors but he can't see them, or if we've woken in the morning and don't come downstairs straight away, chews things up when we've been out too long etc.

We also have a 3.5 year old cat, who I am more concerned about as he is ambivalent to all people except me. He scratches anyone who picks him up (except me and hubby) and generally is a bit anti-social. He's been a bit off with me since I got pregnant and it got me worrying a bit that maybe he might get jealous?

I'm just looking for tips/advice from anyone who has done this before, with dogs or cats - we have children over sometimes but they are always older, they have never really experienced small children or babies before.
Please help as I am only 8 weeks to go now and it's the only thing I've really got left on my list to worry about!

Emsy have no fear - I have never, and would never, treat my dog as a baby. Other than some gooey words when I'm feeling silly, we treat him (and to be honest, the cat too) in a hierarchy. He gets fed after we do, he gets greeted after any other people in the house when we come home, he isn't allowed on sofa or upstairs at all, etc.

Leaving baby in travel seat whilst animals investigate is a great idea, will probably do that.

Thanks so much everyone for your suggestions and experiences!

Emsyboo Tue 08-Jan-13 15:26:54

It's good that you are aware and thinking about it all now -on a more positive note my sister has a dog (a cross) he is great and has been ever since introducing him to her DD born last January.
No problems they never leave him alone but she often grabs his ears and he just shrugs her off she loves him to bits and him her and their older DS who they had before getting the dog. He is very boisterous but knows his place in the home and protects the kids. They don't leave him alone with the youngest but more because they can't be sure DD won't grab him and hurt him.
Goodluck smile

TeenaH Mon 14-Jan-13 04:16:46

Great questions!! When I was pregnant with my first child, Sara I used a book called Tell Your Dog You're Pregnant: An essential guide for dog owners who are expecting a baby. It was really helpful and came with a CD of sounds. Max (my fur child!) took some time to get used to the sounds but the book helped on how to do it. My biggest suprise was my cat, Yasmin went crazy with the sounds when I first played them an hid for 2 days!! Thankfully overtime, and playing the sounds for Max, she got used to them too and was fine when Sara arrived. It also talks about routines and there is a whole chapter on how to introduce them for the very first time - highly reccomend it!

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