Newborn in arrival: what do we do with cats and dogs
Cats and dogs and owners
Cats and dogs already notice, during pregnancy, that something is changing. How?Little things change in everyday life, like smells, new clothes, different products and habits, with differing schedules and things to do. This can be a source of stress both for cats and dogs, but especially for the former. When the newborns arrive, this completely obliterates the attention towards their parents, who tend to be forgotten. Our four-legged living companions can be affected by this situation, leading them to undesired behavior expressing their stress, for example by chewing things and objects.
In addition, physical changes in the home contribute to this state; the rooms are modified, with objects and things that occupy places and spaces arriving (perhaps right where the cat's basket previously was).
To minimize stress, don’t introduce the objects at the last moment and all at once, allowing our furry friends to adapt to the change. This organizational arrangement surely benefits the whole family, managing the happy event and its consequences in advance.
Where possible it’s also best to minimize lifestyle changes. As a practical example, if the dog was used to its walks, you can’t suddenly stop. Even if the newborns will occupy most of the time, we must attempt to maintain the habits all the same, remembering to take the dog for a walk, even if less frequently. In fact, the dog cannot understand the situation and we cannot fail on our responsibility.
Dad is stressed, mom is very stressed, we don’t want to stress cats and dogs too, do we?!
Cats and dogs and newborn
The relationship between children and cats and dogs undoubtedly has important repercussions on their psychology and behavior. Multiple specific studies have analyzed more than one aspect of this interaction, ranging from communication to attitude, disorders and diseases. We’ll however concentrate on the basic precautions to keep in mind following the birth.
Do not leave babies, but generally children, alone with the dog or the cat, ensuring they are always together under adult supervision. When playing the animal, especially if a puppy, could involuntarily hurt the child by scratching or knocking it. Likewise, the child itself can annoy our furry companion without realizing it. Older children should be taught not to pull ears or tails and to treat pets delicately. Leaving pets in a child’s arms is not a bad idea, but always if the latter is sitting and in a state of calm, in addition to a necessary relationship of trust between the two. In fact, the cat or the dog could hurt the child when wriggling away from its grip.
Total separation is not desirable, in fact it complicates the situation to be understood by the cats and dogs. There's a new family member! The first meeting, as well as the successive ones, must be supervised, but they must take place; this possibly in a relaxing situation, maybe outside the home, like at the park.
Behaviorists however suggest supervising the relationship between the two (or more!) up to the age of 14.
It may not seem immediate to associate behavior with feeding, but the connection is very clear, in fact behavior is regulated by specific hormones and neurotransmitters whose function is in turn regulated by food. It follows that, either the food is healthy and complete or every function that depends on it is not able to perform its work, with the mechanism jamming in a more or less serious manner.
The first and perhaps most serious manifestation linked to the previously mentioned mechanism is unpredictability. This problem is unfortunately quite common in dogs, which often suddenly behave in an aggressive and unpredictable manner, especially when meeting other dogs, but also children or people.
This explains the number of people who, not sure as to its reactions, must keep their dog on a tight leash, which also but not only complicates socialization.
Other manifestations are all related to anxious states, such as impulsiveness, constant agitation, nervousness, continuous and often unmotivated barking (a "normal" dog should not furiously bark at people it knows well), separation anxiety and attention disorders.
The list is surprisingly long, but the fact that all are very often caused by the presence of specific toxic residues in food is evident from the fact that a diet that eliminates them, and is rich in selected botanicals, frequently leads the aforementioned symptoms to regress in a very short time. SANYpet’s Research and Development Department is constantly studying the onset of food related pathologies in pets; the scientific results, as well as the many practical cases, are supporting and demonstrating what is being sustained.
A dog or a cat already subjected to a stressful situation, due to the changes taking place, could therefore, due to an incorrect diet, further suffer this state of discomfort, unconsciously creating even more problems to be managed to their owners, and this beyond the natural frustration of seeing your pet in an unpeaceful state of mind.
So, in practical terms, what should we choose? Look for foods free from chemical and pharmacological contaminants, with clean ingredients sourced where nature still prevails over humans such as Iceland and New Zealand, or organically certified. Also favor companies which invest in scientific research concerning the welfare of cats and dogs. An undoubted factor is also the inclusion of phytotherapeutic elements, ie. botanicals, within the formulation, with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory and anti-toxic properties.Last but not least, our final suggestion is to combine dry and wet food, with an “Integrated Nutritional Program” which ensures an optimized fluid intake and prevents the risk of pathologies within the urinary tract.
It would be unfortunate, during pregnancy or thereafter, to have to deal with your dog or cat’s health problems. As they say, prevention is better than cure.