When a baby arrives, things change. While your baby will be about three months old when he really notices your dog or cat. your pet will notice the baby the moment you carry him through the front door. Your shift in attention towards your new infant can make a pet feel neglected and depressed. But a change in your family shouldn't mean a change in the way you treat your four-footed "first-born."
Most parents with a newborn realize their pet needs extra attention, but often give that attention at the wrong time. When the baby takes a nap, the parents play with the pet. When the baby wakes up, the parents ignore the pet and focus their attention on the baby. The pet now associates the baby's absence with good times and her presence with bad times.
To break this cycle, give your pet lots of attention when the baby is awake and less attention when the baby is asleep. What you want your dog or cat to think is. "I sure wish that baby was around, so I could get some attention again." Also encourage your guests to give your pet some special attention before they visit the baby. Giving your four-legged family member plenty of attention at the proper time can create a healthy bond between you, your pet, and your baby.
Humane Society of Central Illinois
423 Kays Drive
Normal, IL 61761-1958