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What to Expect When You’re Expecting: Pet Edition

graphic showing pregnancy and caring for your pet
Dr. Rick Coufal, DVM

Dr. Rick Coufal, DVM

Dr. Rick Coufal is the founder and lead veterinarian for Ponderosa Veterinary Clinic. Coufal graduated from State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences in May of 2000.

Nine months may seem like a long time, but if you’re an expecting mother then you know how quickly those 270 days can go by. While you are preparing for a newborn, don’t forget to prepare your pet for the new addition to your home. For dogs and cats alike, it is important to focus on making intentional adjustments to your pet’s life a few months before bringing home your new little bundle of joy. With all these upcoming changes, how do you prepare your pet for a new baby? As a vet in Colorado Springs, we help new families and their pets get adjusted to the upcoming changes all the time. That’s why we’ve created this simple guide to follow before your sweet newborn enters the world! Here’s what to start practicing:

graphic showing pregnancy and caring for your pet


Your pet may be accustomed to certain schedules. Whether it is feeding, sleeping, or playing, now is the perfect time to slowly implement changes in your pet’s schedules in order to create a smoother transition into unpredictable baby schedules. For dogs, start feeding at slightly different times of the day and make play time less predictable. The classic phrase, “sleep when the baby sleeps” holds true for both you and your pet, especially if your pet is used to cozying up with you! During pregnancy, take naps at various times and encourage your pet to snuggle up with you to become more accustomed to the unusual schedule while still knowing they are loved.


For both dogs and cats, it is very beneficial to start introducing new sights in the house they call home. Set up the nursery, baby furniture, and accessories well in advance so that your pet can get accustomed to the new sights. If you choose to make the nursery off limits to your pet, then start doing so now. A baby gate as well as various commands can help your pet see that this area is no longer an option. If you have a cat that is used to ruling the land, make the surfaces, especially the crib, unwelcoming with cardboard sticky surfaces so your cat is no longer interested in exploring the baby’s zone.


Babies sure can be cute, but they can also be loud, and their tiny lungs may produce cries that might frighten your pet. Play baby sounds, even those piercing cries, during your pregnancy while encouraging and loving on your pet so they know that the new sounds are not anything to be afraid of. If your pet can see now that everything is fine while they hear the new noises, then they are less likely to need your immediate attention while the baby already has it.


A new baby comes with a lot of new scents, so during your pregnancy start introducing your pet to the new smells they may associate with baby. Start using baby lotion on your hands so that the smell may be comforting to your pet since you are the one wearing it. Allow your pet to sniff and observe things the baby may have like blankets or even diapers so your pet is comfortable with the smells before baby arrives.


Safety, however, is the MOST important thing to consider when you are expecting a baby with a pet. You want to make sure that your dog or cat is established with an educated and trustworthy veterinarian during this time, as this relationship will be a benefit to your family in the future, especially if an emergency happens with your pet. Second, take your pet to your vet to make sure that they are in good health and up-to-date with all their vaccinations. That way, you don’t have to worry about the unknown about your pet’s wellbeing before the baby arrives.

Wellness Exam for your Pet

What is the best way to accomplish these safety measures? Schedule a wellness exam for your pet during your pregnancy. At Ponderosa Veterinary Clinic, our wellness checks are a place where we can check your pet’s records, administer any vaccines, get an overall view of your pet’s health, and answer any questions that you may have—especially about your pet and newborn!

Looking for a Vet in Colorado Springs? Call Ponderosa Veterinary Clinic!

Here at Ponderosa Veterinary Clinic, we want to do everything we can to help you prepare your pet for the new addition to your home. We offer veterinary services in Colorado Springs that will allow you to put your mind at ease that your pet is safe and taken care of, so you can shift a lot of your focus to taking care of your baby as well as yourself when the special day comes. We are here to be another part of your support system during this time, so don’t hesitate to give us a call and schedule an appointment!

Note: Pregnancy is the perfect time to squeeze in extra special bonding time with your pet and explore more of Colorado Springs with walks! If you need a break from all the prep work, take your dog on one of these friendly, casual hikes in Colorado Springs.

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Ponderosa Veterinary Clinic is seeking an enthusiastic and caring veterinarian to work relief, part-time or full-time in our general practice. PVC is a full-service, 3+ doctor, small-animal veterinary hospital. We have established an excellent reputation for developing lasting relationships with our clients and for providing compassionate and quality care to our patients.