Introducing a new baby to the family pet

By Kristen Miranda - bio l email

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -  There are big changes when a brand new baby comes into the home.  In addition to the sleepless nights and the stress, there's a change we might not often think about.

Will the family pet, who has been around long before the baby, have a hard time adjusting.  If they don't get along, will the baby be safe?

It is something our own Molly Grantham, expecting her first child any time now, didn't really think about.

"My dog Fisher runs the show - he's definitely the baby," she said.

Some parents have a fear the furry baby will have to move out if it doesn't get along with the human one.

That's where Donna Rogers comes in. She teaches a program called "Dogs and Storks".  Her goal from infants arrival to toddler time, everyone is one big happy family.

"The way you're acting has changed, you're off your schedule, there's company coming over and your attention is not there anymore on them.   Then as the child grows they are running around, making loud new noises and sounds.  We have to teach the dog how to cope with that," Rogers said.

Little things like giving the dog kid-free space of his own and teaching your toddler to read doggie body language helps.  Rogers says programs like hers and books you can buy at many stores help to make the transition easier.

For more information about kids and their interactions with dogs, visit this link.  For more information about the Dogs and Storks program, click here.

Copyright 2011 WBTV. All rights reserved.