Teach pets to recognize smells and sounds of baby

Dear Heloise: I wanted to send in these helpful hints I thought were good ideas regarding bringing a new baby home to pets. I am a real pet lover, and if these hints would help with newborn/pet relationships, it would be a good idea if you printed them! L.B., in Iowa

L.B., not only will I be glad to print the hints, but I’ll also add a few from Heloise Central, so read on:

UTape-record a newborn crying, and play the recording in your home as often as possible to familiarize your pets with the upcoming “new” noises.

UCradle, hold and carry a baby doll around your pets. Helping them learn how to “act” around the doll might make it an easier transition when mother and baby come home.

UUse baby products such as powder or lotion ahead of time to help pets get familiar with the “smell” of a baby.

Now, from Heloise Central:

UIf you are going to change sleeping arrangements (e.g., taking pets out of your bedroom), do this at least a month before delivery so pets do not associate the “displacement” with the baby.

UIf you cannot get a tape recording of baby sounds, there are television shows devoted to newborn babies that you could leave on so your pets will get used to these sounds.

UTemporarily replace a solid door into the baby’s room with a screened or glass-type storm door. You can still see in, but pets stay out! Heloise

Dear Heloise: My husband and I live in San Antonio, and we like to take long walks and ride bicycles. We always take our Chihuahua, Boerne, with us when we walk, and he can go forever, walking up to eight to 10 miles at a time.

When we would go bike riding, we always felt guilty that the dog had to stay home, so my husband modified a backpack to fit Boerne by attaching some mesh to the front so that Boerne fits right inside, and now he can go with us. He loves going down hills! Rod and Carolyn Aragon, via e-mail

Readers, I called to check that “little” Boerne (named after Boerne, Texas) does indeed walk eight to 10 miles with the Aragons. And, yes, he does! We are sharing a photo of the Aragons and Boerne in the backpack with head sticking out, wearing a fluorescent yellow/green scarf and posing for the camera on their tandem bike. They look like they are ready to take off! Be sure to go to my Web site, www.Heloise.com, and click on Pet of the Week — you’ll find Boerne there! Heloise

XSend a money-saving or timesaving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, or you can fax it to (210) HELOISE or e-mail it to Heloise@Heloise.com.

King Features Syndicate