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BENTLEY'S CORNER: Introducing pets to babies

There are some ways to ease the introduction between your four-legged baby and your new two-legged baby.

When you’re expecting a new baby, there are a lot of changes going on in just nine short months.

A lot is going through soon-to-be new parents' minds as well. However, one thing that's usually forgotten is how to introduce the family dog to these changes.

13News Now Meteorologist Tim Pandajis talks about easing into a new way of life with a new little human and a couple's first child, their dog.

Your family is growing, a little one is on the way! Have you given any thought about how these life changes may impact your four-legged child?

“There are resources out there to make it easier for these parents to be able to integrate dogs and kids into the same home,” Sydney Warner, an ABCDT, said. “The moment you know you’re pregnant or even you know you want to get pregnant in the near future, what do we need to do to prepare your dog now, so that when you’re supposed to have bonding time with your baby you’re not freaking out because your dog is like, 'What the heck have you brought home?'”

Luckily folks like Sydney have already given this topic plenty of thought and have developed all of the important information into a class. Similar to a new parent class, it is on how to help pets with the new changes.

These classes go over the basics like how to make sure the dog knows how to sit and stay, go to a spot, and stay there. This frees up parents to tend to a newborn.

But there are other more important things to instill in your pet with the new arrival.

“Some of the major things and this is a lot of the stuff that we’re going to go over whether you’re pregnant, expecting a baby or you’ve already had the baby and the dog is having trouble is desensitization. So crying, screaming, laughing, all the normal baby sounds that can be kind of terrifying to your dog,” Sydney said.

A myth that you may have heard, your dog will try and protect the baby. Sydney said that is not true.

“Your dog is never trying to protect the baby, never. That is just not what they do. So if your dog is showing signs of being protective it probably needs some help,” Sydney said.

Sydney said this behavior is likely a result of overstimulation by sounds.

A dog may already know how to sit, stay, go in their crate on command, but can they listen to those commands while its owner is holding a screaming, fussing child? This is where the class shows its value.

“There’s a lot of different contexts that you’re going to need your dog to be able to do. A lot of behaviors that are normal, basic manners, but we don’t think about all the extra stuff that is going to be happening that is going to take away from your dog's ability to do these things because they’re not comfortable, or they are confused or are overexcited,” Sydney said.

Interested in learning more about classes? Click here to learn more.

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