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Pets and Pregnancy Question

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Old 08-22-2006, 06:03 PM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Braintree, MA, USA
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WillyFredMama HB User
Pets and Pregnancy Question

Does anyone have cats/dogs while pregnant? and if so, how have they been? I am TTC and I have an 11yr old dog and 2 cats, my dog is VERY attached to me and feels left out when my DH and myself snuggle, is there anything I can do now to prepare him for when I do get pregnant? I know I can't clean the litter box once I'm pregnant, I have already told my DH this, What about cleaning up after the Dog? Do I have to stop this as well?

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Old 08-22-2006, 06:11 PM   #2
JoJo's Girl
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JoJo's Girl HB User
Re: Pets and Pregnancy Question

Hi there. I have a four-year-old golden retriever who is just as much of a person as DH and I are She is very attached to us (I call her "the cuddlebug") and she has been wonderful throughout my pregnancy so far (I am 21 weeks, 1 day). Actually, a lot of folks say that dogs instinctively know when their mommy is pregnant, but try telling that to mine! She loves kids and will be great with our baby. I have been told that some dogs need to be acclimated to a baby, though, and if you google it you should get some pretty decent advice. The gist of it is you should use a baby doll and treat it like you would your real baby...put some baby powder on it or something that will smell like your baby. Put it in the crib, cuddle it and coo to it, and when the dog is around, let her smell it and interact with it as well. I guess the hope is that when the real baby arrives the dog will be prepared. Good luck!

Old 08-22-2006, 07:59 PM   #3
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Huntington Beach, CA
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suesy HB User
Re: Pets and Pregnancy Question

I don't have any dogs or cats, but I have two parrots (an African Grey & a Senegal) - so anyone out there know anything about birds & pregnancy? I don't know if he can 'sense' my pg, but recently the Senegal has been sitting (well, he does this weird squatting thing when he's resting sometimes) on my stomach when I'mlying down. He's never done that before, and DH says he's "incubating the babies"!! How cute is that??

Anyway, back to your question - I was recentlly watching a rerun of that Cesar Milan show "Dog Whisperer" and one family was expecting. They did everything right, according to Cesar. A lot of what jojo's girl said, and also put some of the actual clothing/blankets/etc. they bought for the baby in places the dog normally likes to sit or sleep (obviously washing these before turning them back over to the newborn!). I guess that makes the dog get used to the smell and see the baby as more of an alpha of the pack; the dog therefore treats the baby as a leader, with respect and love, etc., instead of acting as the alpha, which would be bad. But it sounds like your dog already treats you guys as alphas, so that's definitely a great start!

I don't know anything about cleaning up after the dog - but I suppose you could always make something up if you wanted to get out of it! lol.
boy/girl twins arrived 3/22/07 via c-section

Old 08-23-2006, 07:34 AM   #4
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Indiana USA
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bridget021182 HB User
Re: Pets and Pregnancy Question

We had to put our dog down shortly after we found out that we are pregnant. I did talk to our vet and she said as far as the cats go to keep giving them the same amount of attention as they are used to. We have 3 cats and she said that if there are 3 or more animals in the house for the first 6 months it decreases the risk of them having any allergies when they get older. She told me that while Im feeding if they want to be right there let them. She said that their instinct is not to smother the baby but to protect them in their bed. She said it is ok to let them in the bed together but to keep an eye on them and to only allow it while you are awake and aware of what they are doing. Im pretty sure our male cat knows that Im pregnant. From the beginning he has to lay next to my belly and purr. Now that Im in early labor he is even worse about it. Oh one other thing to do. Before you bring the baby home have someone bring a receiving blanket home and let them smell it and lay on it to get the smell of the baby. If you have questions you can always call your vet.

Old 08-23-2006, 07:59 AM   #5
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xinerevelle HB User
Re: Pets and Pregnancy Question

I have 6 cats (!!!) that all demand attention, especially now that I'm not working fulltime outside the house. I recently had some of the same questions you did about introducing the baby to the cats, so I did a web search on "pets and pregnancy" and found a bunch of info.

I'm not worried about my cats being around the baby at all. They aren't going to hurt her when she comes, I'm sure... they'll just be curious and/or scared (noisy, smelly, etc. -- not their cup of tea). I've let them all check out the crib, bassinet, bouncer, swing, etc. so that they are familiar with it now. In fact, I have some really cute pics of one particular cat who thought the bouncy seat was HIS and started sleeping in it every day. I'm sure I'll have lots of opportunities for more cute pictures of the baby with the cats, so I need to keep the camera handy.

I am going to buy a canopy/netting for over the crib...but it's more for looks than for anything else. I figured that if the cats really do bother the baby when she's napping or sleeping I can just pull the netting over it so that they can't get into the crib with her. I have two cats that love to sleep between the wall and the sheer curtains (where they drape on the floor), so I can just seem them all excited about this canopy!

I've also read that putting some coins in a soda can, taping up the top, and putting a couple of these cans in the crib will help scare the cats to stay out of the crib. When they jump in it will make a bunch of noise. That will work for a couple of mine, but I have some fearless ones that it won't bother at all, I'm sure.

If you have a friend or relative with a baby, you might arrange a "play date" of sorts for the pets to checkout an infant.

Getting the smell of the baby on a blanket before you come home is also a good idea. I intend to for it to have both my scent and the baby's so that the cats can associate the baby with me, too. This is the part I worry about, since I have a couple of cats that will pee on stuff if it smells like someone else. They want to mark their territory (even though they are all fixed)... which is probably more because we have 6 (hey, they adopted us, not the other way around!)

As for the dog poop -- I say that if you can get hubby to clean it up while you are pregnant, then go for it! Otherwise, no, it's not dangerous for you to do so. The kitty litter thing is to avoid toxoplasmosis, but tox. is also in dirt, so don't go digging in the garden without gloves on either!

Old 08-23-2006, 04:22 PM   #6
Join Date: Feb 2005
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KeltoKel HB User
Re: Pets and Pregnancy Question

This is a great topic. We have two cats who we consider our "first babies." I keep telling them that their worlds are going to be turned upside down in about 3 months. They have no idea!

My boss literally happened to ask me this question today - "what are you going to do with your cats once the baby arrvies....?" I looked at her and said, "they are part of the family..." What a strange question!

Anyhow, like Xiner and Bridget said, getting the smell of the baby in the house before baby arrives home is a great idea. I know our cats like the lay on our bed - esp. on my night clothes. I plan on giving hubby a blanket to place on our bed soon after the baby is born so the cats will smell it before the baby arrives home. You can do the same with dogs.

Old 08-23-2006, 06:55 PM   #7
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Tiff24 HB User
Re: Pets and Pregnancy Question

I'm so glad to hear that my husband and I aren't the only freaks out there that treat their pets like people! LOL! My husband and I were ttc for about a year and a half, he bought me a dog shortly after we started (we had to go to a RE three months after we started) 'cause I got so depressed. My Gabriel has been my baby since the first day he came into our home. When we found out we were pregnant, however, some rules started to change. We stopped him from jumping on our bed and couch 'til he was called up. We don't want him jumping on the baby, obviously. My mother in law is an ob nurse and birthing class instructor, she told me that she recommends to her class that while you and baby are in the hospital, have someone go to your house with a blanket that smells like your new baby and have the pets smell it. She suggests doing this everyday that you're away so the pets gets used to it.

I know someone suggested having a doll around the house that you love up on. I've read that and I'm wondering if it works. Anyone know? I've also read about getting a tape with a crying baby and playing it.

Old 08-24-2006, 06:39 AM   #8
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xinerevelle HB User
Re: Pets and Pregnancy Question

Almost everyone that my husband works with has asked him when we are getting rid of the cats, or have even been so bold as to say "the best thing you can do for wife is to get rid of those cats!" I tell him to politely respond that we'll get rid of our cats when they get rid of their kids. (Or, if it's not a baby-related anti-cats conversation, to suggest to them that they do the same things to their kids as they suggest doing to our cats...) I can't believe (OK, so I CAN believe) that people can be so rude!

Old 08-24-2006, 08:04 AM   #9
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Laetitia HB User
Re: Pets and Pregnancy Question

We have a 14-year-old cat and a three-year-old lab/border collie mix. My cat pretty much ignores Spencer (now 16 weeks old) but likes to sleep in his CoSleeper if we're not careful. Maya, the dog, LOVES Spencer to pieces!

She plays nursemaid with him. For the first month or so, she wanted to inspect him every morning after he woke up and ran to wherever he was when he would cry. Now, she loves to give him kisses. We try to limit them to the top of his head and his feet, but that doesn't always work. Spencer loves to reach for and pet her, and she just sits quietly for his attention. We have used training similar to Cesar Milan's with our dog, and she seems to accept her role in our "pack" very well. We didn't do anything special as far as introducing the baby smell before we came home with him, and haven't had any problems at all.

Best of luck!

Last edited by Laetitia; 08-24-2006 at 08:05 AM.

Old 08-24-2006, 08:35 AM   #10
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mum2three HB User
Re: Pets and Pregnancy Question

We just had 2 mommy cats give birth to a total of 7 kittens. All in the house. The old wives tale about cats sucking a babes breath is not true. But in my experience with my dd, our cat loved laying on her. If a big cat lays on a newborn baby they can't inhale and exhale. Its to much weight on their chest. My dd was 8 mos old when we got a house cat.So it wasn't an issue. But I kept an eye on things( just in case it wanted to suck her breath)LOL My mil had me scared to death about that and that was 14 years ago. But as with anything I would error on the side of caution.

Old 08-24-2006, 11:02 AM   #11
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mammajess HB User
Re: Pets and Pregnancy Question

We have 2 cats and 2 dogs. both cats and the small dog ( a Shih Tzu named Princess) live inside the house. I plan on keeping everything the same when the baby gets here. Our animals are seriously like our children. And the cats demand so much attention. One has to be in the bathroom with you every second you're in there. LOL Kinda akward when we have guests. I have to tell them to watch out for the cat in the bathroom. But we have been trying to intruduce the anaimals to the baby stuff little by little. I will let them in the nursery when I'm in there but not unattended. They are terrors lol. so for now the door is shut most of the time. I do plan on bringing home something that smells like the baby before we come home from the hospital. I figured it would help.

And this may sound crazy but I heard it on a baby show once and decided it was a good idea. If we have a problem with the cats in the baby's room then we are gunna buy a screen door and replace the regular door with it. That way we can still see in but the cats won't go in. Hopefully it doesn't come to that but I thought it was a good idea.

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