Thursday, 15 March 2012

Pet Owner vs. Zookeeper - adding baby to the mix and enjoying it!

There is a fine line between living in a home with pets and living in a zoo - and we're walking it some days haha.  When I say "zoo" I mean a routine completely dominated by feedings, medications, cleaning up after them and general care.  Adding Jack into the mix led us to feel like zookeepers because it through off our routine and we were scrambling. After a little while of having him home we started to make it work again and life is back to normal. We have found there are some great ways to balance it all and keep everyone happy. When a baby is added into the mix it is important to make sure everyone's needs are being met and everyone is content. And there isn't anything saying the baby can't come along to help with the tasks as long as its safe.

We have worked hard to keep our household happy - and we wanted to share some advice to make things work for you too if you are an animal lover bringing home a new baby. It can ALL work - it doesn't have to be one or the other. We are living proof you can make it work and enjoy it!

Establish a daily routine - Each day we start the morning the same way. Animals (and people for that matter) thrive on routine.  If we do the same few things in the same order our pets are much happier and we are too because everyone is having their needs met. An established routine also helps the "zookeepers" remember to do everything (litter scoop, doggy out for a pee, bowls filled etc) and you don't miss a step.  If you are a family that has a medicated pet like us (Apollo our little "twitchy" friend) then on top of a routine it doesn't hurt to set alarms on your handy iPhone (or a less cool mobile device) so they get their medication at the same time daily.

Share the responsibilities - with two adults in the house dividing responsibilities is always best. But remember to mix it up often so one person doesn't feel that they are the doomed one to always scoop the litter or chase the cat to give him his pill. (Oh how Apollo LOVES to run and hide)

Communicate - Reevaluate the routine and make sure it is working for everyone involved. For example if the dog is going bonkers wanting out to pee while you are trying to fill pet bowls then maybe the dog needs out first. Don't be afraid to change it to make it work better. Also, communicate which tasks have been done to your partner in crime so the cat isn't getting a double dose of phenobarbital and the piggies aren't missing out on hay.

Keep on top of the mess - Whether you have a caged animal or a free ranging furry it is important to do daily things to keep their little space comfortable. Fur and hair pickup is easy to do daily either with a vacuum, brush or Roomba. A spot for toys is important too - every pet needs to have play things and it doesn't hurt to keep them organized in one spot.  A little done each day stops the buildup and the need to spend a great deal of time fixing it all every so often. One extra thing we do because Lucy is a walking fur explosion at times is consistently have her groomed to help us keep on top of her shedding.

Lots of Love - with diapers to wash, laundry to do, meals to make and a baby to care for sometimes we really ran out of steam by the end of the day. A baby coming home and staying really rocks an animals world and with some reassurance can make all the difference to a confused furry.  Its important to give lots of love to your pets throughout the day no matter what you're up to - because they always give it back and then everyone is truly happy :)

And as a last thought I wanted to share this article with you, Live Like Royalty: The Many Health Benefits of Dogs, Man's Best Friend . Dogs are good for your health!

1 comment:

  1. I have lived in your zoo and I must say, you really do make it work, without complaint. I have also managed your zoo when your not around.. and you make it look EASY but it really is a lot of work... and I know you love doing it, because you love all your little creatures. Loving them helps to make it work too.