Posts Tagged ‘family pets’

Helping Pets Adjust to a Mobile Baby

Monday, October 17th, 2016

When researching about pets and babies when I was pregnant with my first, I found lots of information about introducing a new baby to your pets.  Other than Peanut needing to try out all the new baby stuff, once we brought our babies home, our pets, Midnight (a lab mix) and Peanut (an orange kitty) adapted well.  Midnight loved the baby instantly both times.  Peanut was a little jealous of the attention the baby received but adjusted quickly.

Introducing the girls was the easy part.  Once they started to crawl, and then walk, we needed to teach them how to treat the animals so that both our pets and children were safe.  This is an ongoing process, but we want both our pets and kids to be safe and happy.  Most of the following rules we have for interacting with the animals are common sense, but they take monitoring and reminding the kids how to be kind to the pets.  Some days I’m amazed at how many times I request that my 3-year-old moves her face away from the cat’s!

  1. If the dog or cat is sleeping, let them sleep and leave them alone.

  2. Keep your face away from the dog or cat’s.  Do not face nudge the cat, even if she has done so to you in the past.

  3. Stay clear of the dog and cat when they’re eating.

  4. No grabbing the dog and cat’s tails, legs, or ears.

  5. Do not try to ride or climb on the dog.

  6. Pet nicely (from head to tail) and limit the duration of pets.  Be conscious your pets’ body language so you know when to stop petting.

  7. When out walking, always ask another dog’s owner if the dog is friendly before trying to pet him.

In addition to the above rules, we have spaces for each pet to go that is their personal area so when the kids get to be too much, they can retreat and have some peace.  Both our pets are very tolerant and understanding of kids.  This does not mean that we let our guard down.  We love our kids and our fur babies, so we constantly watch how they interact and remind the kids how to appropriately treat the pets so that everyone is safe and happy in our home.

Becky Nagel is a stay at home mom to two girls, a three year old and a one year old, in Denver, CO who enjoys cooking for her family, running, and hiking.