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Bringing Up Baby with Pets
Dogs and cats brought up with kids consider them part of the family--learn how to introduce them in the book and avoid problems.

Whether you're an expectant parent or grandparent, a new baby can bring joy into your life. But what does a newborn mean for the animals you've lived with for years?

Dogs used to adults may not recognize babies as the same species. Newborns and toddlers sound scary, smell funny, and seem to evict pets from your lap because they divert a favorite human's attention. Here are tips to help you persuade your dogs to welcome babies as part of their family.

Baby & Dog

Special thanks to Gina Misiroglu and Red Room for connecting me with the Paw Nation folks to bring attention to Red Room authors!

Introducing cats and babies uses some of the same techniques as cat-to-cat or cat-to-dog introductions. So if you are having a baby, congratulations! Or perhaps a grandchild will visit soon, what fun! In either event, paying attention to your resident cats and providing proper introductions will prepare you, the child, and the cat for a peaceful and even joyful time together.

There is no truth to the old wive's tale regarding cats "sucking the breath" of infants. However, kitties are heat-seeking furry missiles that may enjoy being close to a warm body. That's why they sleep on your lap (or your head!), and may be drawn to sleep near or even on top of an infant. A baby's breath that smells like milk may also prompt a curious cat to take a sniff, which may have given rise in part to the old myth. Certainly cats and babies can and do get along very well, but they should never be left unsupervised since they could unintentionally hurt each other. Supervised interaction is important but here are tips for introducing your cat to the new baby.

On that note, are you aware that it's TAKE YOUR CAT TO THE VET WEEK? Petfinder.com sponsors the event and you can learn all about why it's so important, plus why cats HATE the vet and how you can purr-suade Kitty to cooperate in the Monday Mentions post about Pets, Vets & Furry Writer-icity, enjoy!