Better brings you the scoop on what to do to keep both baby and your pet safe.
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Audra: For a lot people, a lot of us a dog or cat is the baby, the centre of our world, the light of our lives. We will do just about anything for them. That is until the human baby comes along, unfortunately when that happens, that means a pet is not only dethrowned, but also sometimes re-homed. Better Pet Lifestyle and Wellness Expert Jenn Fadal tells Rhiannon, how to keep both babies in their home sweet home in today's Better Pets. Rhiannon Ally: That's right Audra. It's the happiest time in your life, you are expecting your new baby and then you remember all the stories that you have heard about your pet and how your pet can misbehave once baby comes home. Right Jenn? Jenn Fadal: And sometimes they can, but with the proper training and preparation, that dog or cat can be your baby's best friend. Rhiannon Ally: One of the things that surprises me is, as you have said; you hear all the time that people actually get rid of their pets, because of the new baby. Jenn Fadal: Everyday, they really don't give the pet a chance. As soon as the baby comes home, the dog or cat is out the door. Rhiannon Ally: Okay, so you don't have to get rid of our four legged friend. Jenn Fadal: Yeah. Rhiannon Ally: So what is the first thing people should do to prepare, before baby even comes? Jenn Fadal: Before baby comes, make sure your pet is spay or neutered and that just won't mellow out your dog or cat and just if there is any aggression, it will hopefully limit that functionally. Rhiannon Ally: Okay. Jenn Fadal: And secondly if your dog does not obey the commands, make sure you get them. Have a trainer come in the house, take a training course, with group class, and just get the basic commands down with your dog. Rhiannon Ally: Okay, so spay or neuter, get them trained. Jenn Fadal: Yeah, right. Rhiannon Ally: Okay. So now we are going to talk about things you can bring into the home. Jenn Fadal: Yes. So it's important for the dog, especially the dog and the cat to get familiarized with sounds like baby sounds, so may be buy a doll that has a baby sound in it, play it. Put baby lotion on the doll, baby powder. Let the dog or cat start having that sense of what the baby might smell like when it comes home. Rhiannon Ally: Okay, so what about receiving blanket, this is another thing to start getting --? Jenn Fadal: Yeah, I asked all of my Facebook friends that had kids, what did you do? And they said we brought the receiving blanket home. We had a friend or relative bring the receiving blanket home before we took the baby home, let the dog and cat smell it, getting used to the scent and then brought the baby home afterwards. Rhiannon Ally: Okay. Do dogs and cats react differently once baby comes home, because they are both losing their pecking order, they are going down in the pack. Jenn Fadal: They are going down in the pack. Cats sometimes are very aloof, they could really care off. Rhiannon Ally: We have all seen that. Jenn Fadal: Yeah we have all seen that. Dogs usually are very interested and they want to be a part of the action and the activity, they don't want to be left out. Rhiannon Ally: Okay, so is it a good option just even if your dog is an inside dog, just putting him outside in the backyard and leaving him there forever, because I have heard a lot of friends, they have actually admitted to me that they do. Jenn Fadal: That's what they do. Absolutely. The dog is not only de-thrown, sometimes he is out of the house, but what you can't do is just start a new routine now before the baby arrives. So if you feed your dog every morning at 8 o'clock, you know what? Try feeding him at 10 or at 7, make his schedule a little bit erratic, so he is not so used to doing his routine. If you need to spend some more outside, happen start doing that now, but absolutely don't make your indoor dog an outside dog, just because you bring a baby home. Rhiannon Ally: Okay, so now we have gone through what we need to do before the baby co