Royal watchers around the globe are still buzzing about the baby news from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who are expecting a bundle of joy. However, pet lovers have also been thinking of the royal couple’s four-legged family member—Lupo, a black cocker spaniel puppy brought into the household by the pair last January.
Just like any parents-to-be, William and Kate might be able to use some advice on acclimating their dog to the new arrival. Fortunately, Banfield Pet Hospital, the world’s largest veterinary practice with more than 800 hospitals nationwide, has tips for keeping peace in the palace.
“There are certain tips we recommend to pet owners before the baby’s arrival, as well as when the baby is actually brought into the home, to ensure a seamless transition for both the baby and the pet,” said Dr. Ari Zabell, director of client advocate support for Banfield Pet Hospital. “Introducing the pet to changes associated with the baby on a gradual basis rather than all at once, is the first step to ensuring a family lives a happy life together!”
First, many household changes can take place before the baby’s arrival. For instance, Banfield recommends baby-proofing prior to the little one’s homecoming in order to help pets get used to the change in environment. Moreover, according to Banfield, having a “safe zone” for the pet—which the baby will not be permitted to enter—can help integrate the newest member of the family into the existing four-legged family member’s world.
Finally, introducing dogs to the new baby while they are on a leash can help parents keep an eye out for signs of aggressive or unacceptable behavior. And finally, as important as it is to know what to do, Banfield Pet Hospital also encourages being aware of what not to do when introducing a baby to the family pet.
“It’s important to avoid ignoring or constantly scolding the pet around the baby or leaving the baby unattended around the family pet,” adds Dr. Zabell. “It’s also imperative to never forget about the pet’s healthcare—with a new baby in the home, it’s as important as ever to make sure the pet receives appropriate preventive care to prevent against disease transmission to the whole family.”