Pets don’t fall too far from the human tree.. When it comes to dogs and cats, they have similar characteristics and traits comparable to ours, including jealousy. Although they perceive jealousy a bit differently, they’re still capable of acting out on it; and is actually very common when something new or different is introduced to them. Whether you have a baby, or another animal in your home, the unfavorable quality may, in fact, come out. So how does one go about changing the negative into a positive?
Bringing Home Baby
Parents.com explains a little bit about animal psychology just so we can get a better understanding of their mentality. First of all, animals are very territorial. What they’ve become accustomed to, is now theirs and it’s not always easy to change that. When it comes to a new, adorable, tiny member of your own, do them the favor and keep their spot, their spot. Just as with them, it’s going to be easier to mark a specific territory for baby toys and furniture. Doing so will keep puppy or kitty secure within their zone.
Cesar Millan also states that our furry canines tend to mirror our emotions. So think about it like this: if we’re peaceful and calm, they’re going to be peaceful and calm. If we’re edgy and aggressive, expect them to reflect the same attitude. Your dog sees you as the leader of the family. As head of the pack, we need to help them realize that this little human, is now part of that leadership. A pretty good tip: Create little activities that can incorporate puppy and child together- that way a bond can be created. It’s great in the beginning because puppy and baby will have similarities once baby can crawl on all fours. And of course, make sure you continue to show puppy attention.
For kitty, the ASPCA suggests that preparation is key. Whether you have a careful cat, like Sadie, or a very energetic cat, like Dexter, preparation will only benefit you. Gradually, yet consistently, adjust your cat’s schedule to comfortably fit around baby’s …and stick to it. They also suggest not making any changes in regards to affection right before baby arrives. Perhaps you’re a little worried that your cat may feel a little less-loved once baby comes ; but being that’s not the case at all, increasing affection towards them right before the arrival will only set them up for disappointment as you have to balance your new life. Steady is significant.
Bringing Home a New Pet
There’s no doubt in my mind, based on experience that each pet will react differently to another. When I was about nine years old, we bought a Chocolate Lab., with a cat already in the house. I was terrified that my cat would be horrified, and torn up. After their initial visit, I realized that it was actually the other way around-my cat had swatted the puppy’s nose several times, and my Labrador was scared of Muffin.
This time around, bringing Dexter home to Sadie was somewhat different. Dexter was only four months old, while Sadie, nine months. She had become very comfortable in her new home, as she had been used to being in the cold street weeks before she found me. She definitely had issues with sharing, and is in fact, was timid and nervous around anything and anyone new. It took her time to warm up. Dexter, in the beginning, was very fearful himself to even get up to use the litter box. Three days of realizing that this was his home too, he started to come out of his shell. He initiated the relationship between Sadie and himself, and though there may have been some swatting and boundary marking, they’ve accepted one another. Some days you’ll see Sadie giving Dexter kisses, on other days they’re play- fighting. Now, I don’t think they could imagine not living with each other. Typical brother/sister relationship.
The ASPCA says to expect one of three things: play, prey, or cautious avoidance- In my case, it was all three within phases. Regardless, make sure your cats claws are trimmed before the first encounter. We don’t want anyone to get scratched up. I personally believe that with time, they’ll adjust. Placing them in s supervised room at first has always worked for me. It’s imperative that there is no force with interaction, as anything can set off a panicky vibe. When pertaining to a dog confronting a cat, using a baby gate as an aid in the beginning if you’re skeptical is recommended.
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