“If your pet has been a substitute child up until now, you are no doubt already feeling guilty knowing your human baby will soon become your number one priority,” Katrina says. “One of the worst things you can do is ‘spoil’ your pet in the lead-up to the baby’s arrival, wanting it to have as much love and affection as possible.”
With dogs, problem behaviours such as jumping up, pulling on the lead and barking need to be dealt with. At the very least, your dog must learn to sit and lie down on your command – even from a distance. You also want your dog to be comfortable spending time on its own and be happy to go outside at your request.
One month before you give birth, let your dog or cat have a look around the nursery to get used to the new sights and sounds. Ask friends with infants to visit your home to accustom your pet to babies, or download baby noises and play at a low level until your pet is no longer interested in the sound of crying.