They’re the apple of our eyes. The centre of our universes. Everything we do, we do it for them. Their joy is our joy and from the moment we first hold them in our arms we know that we have found purpose in their adoring eyes. We watch them grow and gain important skills. We watch them interact with others. We watch their little personalities develop. Sometimes we feel that there simply isn’t enough space in our hearts to contain all the love we have for them.

And then we have a baby!

Jokes aside, introducing your newborn to your pet can be a wonderful and rewarding experience, and it’s important to go about it the right way. Fortunately, you have 9 months to lay the foundations. You feed your pet quality foods from to keep them happy, healthy and mentally focused. You train them rigorously because you want them to be disciplined and live harmoniously in your home. It goes without saying that the same care and effort should go into creating a harmonious relationship with the newest addition to your household. Here are some tips that will be useful when (and just before) baby first comes home…

Introduce scent articles

In this regard, getting a pet used to the idea of a baby is just like getting them used to the idea of another pet. Bring something home that smells of your new baby (like a burp cloth). Allow them to sniff it from a distance. This will establish that you have claimed ownership of this scent and that they need to respect you as the pack leader when it comes to this scent.

Keep calm, happy and positive

Remember that pets are extremely emotionally intuitive and will often mirror our emotions. As stressful and hectic as your first few weeks / months / years / decades of parenthood can be, try and stay calm, happy and positive, otherwise your new baby might be seen as a source of stress by your pet.

Managing the introduction

Nervous energy may negatively affect the introduction. So take your pampered pet for a long walk or play with them in the garden to work off some of their energy. When you return, make sure that they are in a calm and submissive state before entering the home. When you get home they will be aware of the new scent in the house. Although, because you’ve used the scent articles the smell won’t be unfamiliar or a cause for alarm.

Let your dog sniff from a respectful distance, then allow them to get closer and closer to the baby. If all are calm and happy, your furry friend will see this new addition to the household as a tiny pack leader and give them all the love and respect they give you!

As your baby grows, teach them to respect your pet

Toddlers can be incredibly “handsy” with animals. But that’s okay, because you’ll be there to ensure that they know how to behave around your pet and not to do the things that may upset or irritate your furry friend like invading personal space, moving suddenly around them or grabbing their tail.

Keep on giving love and attention

And, of course, throughout all this, maintain your routine of care love and attention. Feed your pet at the same time as usual and take them for regular walks. This will help them feel as though life is normal even though the pack has a new member.