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Thread: Pets and Pregnancy/Pets and Babies

  1. #127

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    Just thought I'd update about the cats. I've been putting them in the kitchen/laundry most nights now and they're getting used to it. I put something in front of the door on their side - it's a sliding door and they like to try and scratch up the lino to try and open it, even though I've locked it with a little hook on my side! Grrr! So that's stopped that, anyway.

    The youngest (8 month old) still cries a bit at night when I put them in, especially if she hears me get up to the toilet. But she settles down again soon enough. I guess I felt bad because they usually have run of the house, but I do want them to have a bit of an idea of where they can and can't go.



    Right now, it's the fur - OMG, THE FUR!! - which is the biggest problem! Our lab cross just drops fur just by walking around, I'm sure of it! Ugh. Hopefully they'll have moulted mostly by the time the baby gets here...

  2. #128

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    Sasha - try a "zoom groom" tool, available at pretty much all pet stores and vets - I bought mine from the RSPCA. It's a rubber tool and grabs the hair so much better than anything else! A quick brush for the dogs before coming in every time does wonders. The same tool will also work on the cats...

  3. #129

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    Thanks, I'll see if I can get one. Cooper (dog) does get brushed everyday, but I should perhaps be a bit more vigilant with the cats. Maybe need to invest in a better vac as well.

  4. #130

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    Hey all, I am starting to think about how my two dogs are going to handle a baby in the family. For years the dogs have been the centre of our lives, they are allowed inside etc. I am not sure what things are going to be like when bub's finally arrives, but I still would like to carry on as what it is now.

    My concern is that the dogs are always going to be in the baby's face, not leaving him/her alone therefor me not being able to leave the dogs in the same room alone with the baby. Tonight I was going through all the baby stuff my sis gave me and playing with some toys that make noises. Ofcourse, the dogs wanted it! The older one soon bores real easily and will go away but the younger one is so interested and wants to get in to everything!

    Is there anything that we can do before the baby comes to get the dogs used to the new member of the house? I am hoping that at the beginning they are going to be real interested (as they are with any kid that comes over) but then soon they will get bored and know that this is a member of the family and doesnt need to be annoyed all the time..

  5. #131

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    G'day Veronica -

    I think that you'll have to be prepared for things to *not* continue as they are. If your dogs are bigger than the baby (which most dogs will be!) then you'll have to think about how the dogs will perceive the baby.

    At the moment the pack structure in your house may be you/your DP and then the dogs. If (like in my house) your partner isn't one of the top 2, then there could be a problem. In my house, the pack structure is Me, old dog, DP and young dog. By keeping the dogs off the bed, we're trying to move DP up the pack structure. And that's starting to work

    The key is to make the changes *now*. So if the baby is going to sleep in your room (like ours will initially) then get the dogs out of the room now. You don't want the dogs to make the association between changes and the new bubs. You'll also have to be careful that the dogs are kept in their pack structure as long as possible - which means when DP comes home, he greets you, then the dogs, then the bub - in that order - until bubs is able to maintain his/her point in the pack.

    A lot of dog attacks on kids are because the dogs are fighting for dominance, to put the kid back down in the pack.

    Does that make sense?

    There's a great book called "Who's the Boss" by Val Bonney which really goes into introducing a child to a dog-friendly home.

  6. #132
    ej_1974 Guest

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    Christy,
    That's such great information. I wish I'd known about this earlier. Better late than never I guess.
    ej

  7. #133

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    Kazbah - thats great advise on the dogs. I guess we have to start realising that things will be different once bubs is here. And we gotta make sure that they know that the baby is higher than them in the pack structure.

    My girl used to sleep in our bedroom up until about 6 months ago when her snoring got so bad that we had to kick her out. And the dogs arent inside all the time. They are normally out at 7am and come back inside when it is dark. Only on hot days they are in all the time. So if we were to keep to what we are doing now, then everything should be ok...

  8. #134

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    Hi all,

    Just writing because since being pregnant I have noticed something very funny with my cat! I am only 15 weeks at the moment and just beginning to show, but since about 8 weeks I reckon, she has been giving all her attention to me. Just as a bit of background, she normally cuddles up to either DH or I, pretty much 50/50. Since being pregnant she ALWAYS cuddles up to me for her pats (DH is feeling a bit left out!). She really HAS to sit on my tummy (nowhere else is good enough) and cuddles right into it.

    It has made me think that she must sense something about me. Anyone heard of anything similar?

  9. #135

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    Hi Star - one of my cats was the same, but she was my cat anyway and super cuddly. Well she became even more clingy and cuddly than I thought possible. She used to sit on my tummy in the early days and purr, I could feel the purr vibrate right through me, so I am sure bubs felt it at the time. As I got closer to my due date even DH was commenting on how protective she was of me.

  10. #136

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    Star - one of my cats is the same, he's very clingy too. Isn't it lovely? I'm just hoping the bubs feels the peace I get from my cat, and also the vibrations of the purrs.

  11. #137

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    Hi guys,

    Just a few notes on dogs and babies. Firstly definitely make any planned changes before the baby arrives. Secondly, instead of worrying about pack structure (we now know it isnt nearly as responsible for aggression etc as we used to think and that pack structure is different to the linear model that we used to rely on) you should think more about associations between babies and dogs. You should work on your dog always having positive associations with kids/babies (give them pats, treats, walks etc with kids or when kids are around). This will encourage relaxed and good behaviour. Reward any good behaviour (such as calm behaviour) and note what triggers unacceptable behaviour. Don't push them too far too fast - if your dog shows nervousness around your child don't assume that by forcing them into a situation they will get used to it. Work at their pace and reward for any good behaviour. Never punish for bad behaviour as this leads to negative associations with children and more anxiety/aggression. Know what the signs of anxiety are in your dog - avoiding eye contact, trying to remove themselves from your child, growling, lip licking, yawning, & generally un-relaxed type behaviour. In this situations always remove the cause of anxiety. Do not punish the dog if they show pre-bite behaviours such as growling. They are trying to say 'I dont want to bite you'. If your dog has to resort to these behaviours, you are pushing them too fast.

    If you have any problems, don't hesitate to call a qualified vet behaviourist or a dog trainer that specialising in positive reinforcement training. (punishment training eg using choker chains are still common and legal but very old fashioned and not even endorsed by the RSPCA). The delta society is a great organisation that runs very comprehensive, ethical and up to date instructor courses. You can look there for a qualified trainer or vet behaviourist. (http://www.deltasocietyaustralia.com.au/)

    And number one - never leave a child and a dog alone. Even the best dog can only be pushed so far. Children cannot read dog body language and therefore can't read the warning signs that dogs give before they bite.

    I hope this info helps!

  12. #138

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    Hi girls,
    I never knew you guys existed
    Yesterday I had to make the decison to put our elderly cat down and as it be I was the only one at home and had to take DD (neally 2) with me to the vets. I told her that Miss Meg was very sick and had to see the vet who did put her down. So essentially she was with me during all the tears and patting her as she dosed into her euthanised state.
    She was ok with it but this morning her usual chore lol is to feed that cat...well run outside and find her and take the biscuits to her. She doesnt understand the whole thing but now throws her arms in the air in a confused state about not being able to find the cat. DH thinks we should replace her, I'm not to sure.
    Hope someone has had a similar experience
    Bec

  13. #139

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    Hi Bec,
    That is so sad! I think there is no 'right' way to deal with this. Some people feel that can't cope without another pet and so get another one straight away, while others need to grieve about the one they have lost for a while first.
    Because essentially the cat was yours, I would go with how you feel. I also don't think it is bad at all to let children grieve over pets as it is a natural and important process. Letting your child come to terms with it may help them build their empathy and compassion for others. After all pets and people can't be simply replaced.
    Good luck with this. I hope you feel better soon.

  14. #140

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    Hi Guys!

    Ok I have got two dogs. The oldest is male and he is 7/8 yrs old and the other is female and she is 2yrs old. I normally walk both dogs by myself, DP occassionally comes with me but that is not too often. The male dog walks quite well - doesnt pull me, doesnt try to get to other dogs/cats that he sees, I figure this is because he is older and just not interested any more. But the female is a different story! She pulls (sometimes pulls my arm out of my socket!), tries to get to other dogs and cats etc.

    I'm trying to get her to walk like the male dog, but there is little progress. What I am worried about is when bub is here and I go out walking and take the dogs with me, will the female still be behaving like she is now?! I figure that I will be able to hold on to the male's lead and the pram with one hand and then hold the lead of the female in the other. But I am afraid of what could happen if she sees another dog/cat on our journey. She is most likely try to get to it!

    DP thinks that she will be ok, that at the beginning she will be more interested in what is in the pram and not what is around her. But I am not too sure. So just after other peoples experiences or advise.

    Thanks!

  15. #141

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    I think she will be exactly the same afterwards as she is now. If she is a puller you should invest in a head halter (there are several brands like black dog, gentle leader, halti). They fit over the dogs nose and neck and means that you can lead the dog rather than them pull you. It is the same type of equipment as a horse halter (you would never walk a horse on a collar!) See an experienced vet nurse who can help you fit the halter properly and will give you tips on getting your dog used to it, and how to use it properly to avoid hurting the dog (if you jerk at the halter you can injure the dogs neck). You will be amazed at the difference. They also don't restrict the dogs mouth (unlike a muzzle) so they can still pant while they are exercising, and drink water etc.

  16. #142

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    G'day Veronica -

    As Krysalyss has mentioned, the dogs won't change behaviour that much just cause there's a baby in the pram. If anything, the behaviour could be intensified due to jealousy etc.

    It's worth looking at formal obedience lessons, as both you and the dog will learn together in an accelerated rate. The halti is a great tool, but does take a little while for the dog to get used to. One of my dogs just refuses to use the halti no matter what, and even the RSPCA training school gave up on him with it.

    I'm not sure what kind of pram you're looking at, and the stability of said pram, but you really don't want both hands attached to dogs - if another dog were to attack or your dogs were to be scared, then you won't have any free hands for the pram. Ideally, one hand on the pram at all times, and one hand for the dogs. I use a coupling lead with my dogs if I have to, and this is working well - after about 6 months training. So I'm afraid to say that you may either be taking 2 walks a day, with one dog each time, or your DP will have to assist you.

    Good luck, and HTH

  17. #143

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    Default My very attached Cat

    Hi all,

    I just wanted to ask some questions and get some opinions/advice if I can.

    I have an indoor cat - she is 3 years old, a Birman. Birman are very 'people' cats and not very independant. She has to be everywhere I am, if we aren't paying her attention she cries and cries and cries! We are building her a cat ran which I want finished by May. But I am a little worried when Jellybean comes because I am not going to be paying her much attention. She is always into new things so when the nursery gets going she will be in there sniffing around and I don't want her fur all over the place.

    We are building a screen door for the nursery so when Jellybean is sleeping the cat won't be able to get in there. But I am worried that if we have Jellybean in our room for a few weeks, we will have to shut the door to our room but the cat will just hate it and scratch and cry. I love her heaps, she is my little baby and I don't want to ignore her but I can see it happening.

    Are there any suggestions? I know she will love her cat run as she is always wanting to get outside so she will spend lots of time out there during the day - its just nights I am worried about!

  18. #144

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    We sort of had the same problem, we had 3 indoor cats, one of them slept in my bed every night. When I came home with our daughter, she got so jealous and wouldn't come near me for about 2 days. Just like you said, the baby hehe. I never had them in the same room with my daughter, they all meowed wnating to come into the room but eventually did get over it, but they also had each other to cuddle up to. All I can think is if you are going to have your baby in the room then maybe you should get your cat used to the idea of not being allowed in there now. Or maybe a play mate like ours have lol. Sorry I'm not much help!

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