What to Watch Out For
Cats and dogs are often jealous of their new housemate and can become aggressive toward your newborn baby. In both cats and dogs, be on a constant lookout for any of the following signs of aggression:
- Biting, nipping, pawing, growling
- Raised hair, pinned-back ears, or downward-pointing tail
- Neglecting to use the litter box, or marking or spraying of the house by cats
- Canine soiling accidents
- Slinkiness when the cat approaches baby
- Withdrawn behavior or refusal of food (both cats and dogs may do this)
Always address unwanted behavior by your pet with a firm "no" and reward all positive reactions (such as backing off when told to do so).
Very young and very old pets may require even more vigilance. Pups, for example, will still be learning obedience and have lots of energy, while older pets will be used to having the run of the house and no competition for their caretakers' affection.