Oh baby – there’s a puppy
During the last weeks of pregnancy, it is not unusual for relatives to question the parents’ love of animals. “I suppose you’ll be giving the dog away?” The worry ranges from bad hygiene to danger of death for the new baby. These fears are understandable but, according to the experts at Maxi Zoo, they are no reason to give up your beloved pets.
However, there are a few things to consider when making plans for a new arrival.
When dogs live with a family they usually enjoy attention from everyone. However when a new arrival appears on the scene, the situation tends to change somewhat. The mistress is doing almost nothing else but looking after the screaming, struggling little human and the dogs can soon be forgotten. In dogs, jealousy can lead to real problems. In order to make sure nothing happens why not use the time now to set the scene for the baby’s arrival. Allow your four-legged friends to sniff at everything you have bought for the baby. The mistress should purposefully have less to do with the animals so that the changes that are to come later do not seem too sudden. Once the baby is there, your dog should be allowed to greet the member of his pack i.e. with lots of sniffing. Hold the child away from him and signal that it is dangerous. Once he has understood, allow him contact with the baby. Praise your pet when he is friendly and include him when feeding, changing and of course going for walks. Whether you have dogs or cats always take a few minutes of your day to spend time alone with them! By not neglecting and remembering to think of the needs of your pet after the birth you will have a true playmate for your child.
Normally it is not harmful if your dog goes to lick the baby. However your baby’s face must remain a taboo area. Pet hairs are also harmless if your pet is well looked after. But you should get your pet vaccinated and worm them more frequently.
Danger of death
In general a dog should never be left alone with the child even if he is very child friendly. If you really have doubts about your pet then do the puppy test. Give him the opportunity to come into contact with puppies and if he acts aggressively to the babies of his own species, you should be prepared that he will act the same around the new baby. If you observe that your dog behaves hostilely every time he comes into contact with puppies and not just once you should proceed cautiously. Behavioural therapy is necessary for the protection of both the dog and the baby.
Call into your local Maxi Zoo store today to discuss your personal situation with our Pet Experts.