Many couples are often posed with exciting news that they are soon to become proud parents and there is no greater feeling in the world in becoming a parent. For those couples who already have pets, it also poses the immediate question of who now comes first?
Couples with established pets would have already settled their furbabies in their home environments and many of these new to be parents will now have to start the process all over again! Now whilst the responsibilities of being a pet owner and parent are in many ways so very different, there are some similarities at the same time and many considerations for the future years ahead.
Our furbabies most often are the first “child” in many relationships and take centre stage (and so they should!) with other relatives and friends. They can be the epicentre of our daily lives and routines, exercise and weekend outings to parks, beaches and bush walks – and the list goes on.
In most households, pets also have free reign of the backyard, house and front seat of the car (depending on their size of course) and are pampered with constant love and affection all year round. Their presence at night to keep their parents company and their reliance on us to make sure their respective beds are all fluffed up and ready for their big nights sleep ahead is on the top of our priority lists when parenting our respective furbabies.
When parent’s are given the great news about bringing a new baby home, what does that mean for our pets? Are they not loved as much? Are they pushed off to the side whilst our new additions now become centre stage of our lives? Are they now made to sleep outside? Who comes first?
Integrating new babies with pets can be challenging and daunting at the same time. Ensuring that they both are safe, cared for and loved are critical as our role as being parents and fur-parents. It goes without saying that our new babies are treasured in our hearts but at the same time our furbabies are part of the family too.
The truth is, while bringing a new baby home will be life changing for the whole family, including your furbaby, most pets tend to adapt well. They will soon understand that their sibling is here to stay, and will become attached to them as they are to their parents. Your pet will be by your side as you adjust to a whole new world, quietly sitting beside you during feeds and helping you navigate parenthood.
And in no time, that little baby will be running around with your furbaby, providing endless entertainment for one another, and they will thank you for the best gift of all, a friend for life.