You can read more pet advice features like this in RSPCA’s Magazine, The Biscuit.
Some diseases, like ringworm, are very contagious and easily carried from pet to human. Before bub enters the picture, it’s important to ensure your pet is healthy and fully covered for parasites.
A baby will shake up any schedule, including your pets. If your dog is used to early morning runs, or your cat is accustomed to sleeping on your bed, you might want to make some changes to their routine in advance. Start these changes slowly, and keep them positive, like finding a great dog walker to manage those mornings, or treating kitty to a new bed to soften the shift to a new resting place.
The sound of a baby’s cry is one many pets only hear after the arrival of their new sibling. There are free audio tracks available online, or you can purchase a CD, with baby sounds from cooing, to crying, to giggling, even screaming. Play from different rooms and at different points in their routine, slowly increasing the volume each day. Reward your pet each time, so they associate the sounds with good things.
If you have a dog or cat at home and are unsure if your pet likes kids, it's important to understand their behavioural needs and space when your little one arrives.
Before your newborn comes home, why not enrol your pooch in a refresher course at RSPCA School for Dogs? This can help your dog brush up on their basic skills like sitting for treats, going to their mat and not jumping up when bub arrives. Talk to the School for Dogs team for advice or find a class near you here.