Introducing a New Family Member

Introducing a new family member is fun and exciting. One thing to consider when bringing your new family member home is how your pets will react. Animals can be very territorial, and it is important to make sure your animals are comfortable with all the changes that will be happening.

Preparing before the baby arrives — the day the baby arrives and as they grow together can help the whole family adjust to the changes easily. Preparing for the baby to meet your animals long before the baby comes is very important. One of the ways to make your animal comfortable with the process is to make any space changes very gradual. Animals love their little areas within a home, and having that space taken away can be very stressful for them. If you need to make some space for your growing family, be sure to move their items around very slowly. It will give them a chance to get used to their new space long before the baby arrives.

When the new family member arrives home for the first time, try to introduce the pets slowly and with very careful supervision. Your pets are unsure of what is going on, and any sudden move could make them react in an unusual manner. By introducing the baby slowly and consistently throughout the first few weeks, you will make your animal comfortable very quickly. Also, be sure to pay plenty of attention to your animals when the baby arrives. If your animal doesn’t feel neglected, they are much more likely to carry on their normal routines even with a big change in the family.

After some time has passed and your animal has adjusted and become comfortable with the new family member, it may be time to teach your child about the family pet. Having your child assist with some daily chores or play with the animal can get them both comfortable with one another. Remember that close supervision will be required, as your child and the family pet may still not be comfortable with one another right away.

Having a family pet is great for a child. They can learn the responsibility of taking care of them and form a long relationship that they will always remember. Taking a few steps to help them adjust to one another quickly will help them form that relationship that much sooner. If you are adding a member to your family, always remember to help your pets along the way because they are family too.

If you have any questions or want some more tips, give us a call at 613-542-7337.

Written by: Natasha Dehoop, VA