Starlight Pet Talk

Preparing Your Dog for a New Baby: Essential Training and Tips from an Expert

June 18, 2024 Amy Castro, MA, CSP Season 1 Episode 23
Preparing Your Dog for a New Baby: Essential Training and Tips from an Expert
Starlight Pet Talk
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Starlight Pet Talk
Preparing Your Dog for a New Baby: Essential Training and Tips from an Expert
Jun 18, 2024 Season 1 Episode 23
Amy Castro, MA, CSP

Get ready for an insightful in-depth episode as Amy sits down with Aileen Cronin, canine behavior consultant and Baby Pack Leader, to unpack the journey of preparing dogs for the arrival of a new human baby. Aileen, bringing her own experiences and expertise to the table, dispels the myths surrounding dogs and newborns, and shares why proactive training and clear boundaries are key to creating a peaceful household. Together, Amy and Aileen dive deep into the essentials of pet adoption, highlighting the critical need for alignment and communication between partners. They offer hands-on advice for preparing both your pup and your home for the big change.

They also delve into the importance of spotting signs of stress to ensure comfort and safety for all. Plus, Aileen opens up about situations where rehoming might be the kindest option.

Tune in to ensure your home remains harmonious and happy for both two and four-legged family members!

To learn more about Aileen's resources, and the "Bringing Home Baby," program, go to www.BabyPackLeader.com. Don't forget to use the special discount code STARLIGHT so that 50% of each sale goes to help the animals at Starlight Outreach and Rescue, Amy's nonprofit animal rescue!

Comment on this episode! For questions or if you need a reply- please email us at Amy@StarlightPetTalk.com

Support the Show.

Support the show: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/starlightpettalk

LISTEN & FOLLOW!
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Show Notes Transcript

Get ready for an insightful in-depth episode as Amy sits down with Aileen Cronin, canine behavior consultant and Baby Pack Leader, to unpack the journey of preparing dogs for the arrival of a new human baby. Aileen, bringing her own experiences and expertise to the table, dispels the myths surrounding dogs and newborns, and shares why proactive training and clear boundaries are key to creating a peaceful household. Together, Amy and Aileen dive deep into the essentials of pet adoption, highlighting the critical need for alignment and communication between partners. They offer hands-on advice for preparing both your pup and your home for the big change.

They also delve into the importance of spotting signs of stress to ensure comfort and safety for all. Plus, Aileen opens up about situations where rehoming might be the kindest option.

Tune in to ensure your home remains harmonious and happy for both two and four-legged family members!

To learn more about Aileen's resources, and the "Bringing Home Baby," program, go to www.BabyPackLeader.com. Don't forget to use the special discount code STARLIGHT so that 50% of each sale goes to help the animals at Starlight Outreach and Rescue, Amy's nonprofit animal rescue!

Comment on this episode! For questions or if you need a reply- please email us at Amy@StarlightPetTalk.com

Support the Show.

Support the show: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/starlightpettalk

LISTEN & FOLLOW!
▷ Official Site: https://www.starlighpettalk.com

▶ Facebook: / starlightoutreachandrescue

▶ YouTube: -https://bit.ly/starlightsubscribe

▶ TikTok: / starlightou...

Amy Castro (00:00.942)
When people add a dog to their family, they often say it's for life. However, one of the top 10 reasons dogs are rehomed in the US is the arrival of a new baby. Why is it so many people think that adding a two -legged family member to your household means you must break your commitment to the four -legged one who came first? Today, our goal is to challenge this assumption and reinforce the enduring promises we've made to our pets. Joined by an expert who's dedicated her life to keeping families together,

We're exploring safe and proactive strategies to prepare your dog for the new addition, while also acknowledging when and how to make tough decisions if things don't work out. This episode is a must listen for parents, grandparents, and caregivers aiming to maintain a harmonious and loving home for all their family members. Stay tuned. You're listening to Starlight Pet Talk, a podcast for pet parents who want the best pet care advice from cat experts, dog trainers, veterinarians, and other top pet professionals,

who will help you live your very best life with your pets.

Amy Castro (01:05.325)
Welcome to Starlight Pet Talk. I'm your host, Amy Castro. And today we are tackling a crucial subject for many families. And that is managing the transition of introducing a new baby when you've got a pet at home. My guest today is Eileen Cronin, a devoted mom, loving wife, and expert canine behavior consultant with over a decade of experience. Eileen has developed her expertise under the industry's top educators and through extensive hands -on experience.

Her passion for the dynamics between dogs and babies ignited after her own experience as a new mom. Through her company, Baby Pack Leader, Eileen empowers expecting parents, helping them welcome a new family member without stress. She focuses on fostering and understanding and compassion within the family, ensuring that the family dog adjusts well, not only to the arrival of the newborn, but the subsequent stages of the child's growth. Her approach is about creating a harmonious and joyful existence.

for all family members. So Eileen, thank you so much for being here today to talk with us about this really important subject. Thank you so much for having me. I've been looking forward to this. So have I. So have I. Mostly because, and I admitted this to you on our pre -recording, that I have a bit of a bias slash pet peeve about people who just automatically think because baby's coming, I need to get rid of my dog or grandparents. Sometimes it's pressure from grandparents. And we're going to talk about that as well. But...

Can you tell us a little bit about your story about how Baby Pack Leader came about and your programs for bringing home baby? Sure. I had a dog that was the dog that everyone was afraid to walk past on the street. He had bitten me, he had bitten other people. I felt really hopeless. I felt really afraid. And I had a lot of trainers tell me to put him down. And I ended up on an episode of Caesar 911.

And I saw that great change was possible with dogs and I ended up quitting my job and studying with a lot of different educators and learning a lot about dogs, taking in everything that I could. And then I started sharing that experience and education with others. And about three and a half years ago, my daughter was born and I had a huge pack of dogs. I had a lot of client dogs and

Amy Castro (03:23.534)
I knew I needed a plan. I knew I wanted to keep my business. I knew I wanted to work. I knew I wanted her to have a wonderful relationship with dogs and I had to find a way to navigate that. And once I found a way to navigate that, it became my passion to share that with others. Wow. That's great. You're like famous. You've been with Caesar. That's I got to go back and find that episode. I'm sure it's probably on YouTube or I can find it somewhere.

I always tell people that if they are wondering if great change is possible to go ahead and watch my episode, because I feel like an entirely different person training with dogs and meeting so many people working with dog owners has just changed me so much as I've grown up. You said a couple of key things there and we're going to dig deeper into those. Number one is the planning piece of it. It's like knowing there's an issue and planning for it versus waiting until it's come to a head.

And then also the empowerment piece. I think pet parents oftentimes don't take the steps to empower themselves to do what's needed in a variety of situations with their pets. So we're going to dig into that, but I do want to address, you know, what are some of the common, I guess, myths about dogs and babies? You know, some of them are, some of them are good myths. Like, you know, my dog's always going to love my baby because it loves me, you know, just things that people have. And then some of them are not so good. What are some of the things that you've heard?

Well, a lot of people will tell me my dog loves laying on my baby belly. So he already loves his little sister or brother. And one of the reasons that's a myth is because I personally believe that, well, dogs may understand that you're different because you are hormonally different. You're smelling different. You're behaving different as a pregnant woman. You're more tired than usual. You may be less likely to enforce rules. That's one of the big ones for me. And just because they love your baby belly doesn't mean they love your baby.

And the other biggest one is bringing home the hospital blanket so the dog can smell the blanket. It's not that that whole thing is a myth. It's just that it's missing a very big component that when you're introducing the scent of the baby to the dog, you have to be really careful about what state of mind that you're introducing it to. If you give the blanket to the dog and the dog grabs it and runs around the house with it and rolls all over it, then you're saying, dog, that's exactly how I want you to treat the baby.

Amy Castro (05:38.862)
Now, if you're introducing the scent and saying, I want this scent to be associated with calmness and space and respect, that is a great way to introduce the scent. But another big thing is that hospital blanket probably doesn't smell a lot like the baby. It probably smells a lot like the hospital. So third would be when people say, my dog has always loved kids. And there is a big difference between interacting with nieces, nephews, children on the street and having a full time child roommate.

And just understanding that it's wonderful that they have a positive foundation so far, but there is still work to be done in the home when the baby comes home. That, yeah, that's, that's an excellent point. And it made me think about the fact that, you know, people that will say, my, you know, my dog is good with kids, but kids at what age, a baby that's in a crib that the dog doesn't bother is very different than, and we're going to talk about this is very different than a.

A toddler who's trying to stick his finger down the dog's ear canal or a 10 year old cousin that comes over that's not at eye level might be quite different or even just a certain energy, you know, a calm bookish 10 year old that just kind of sits there and lets the dog come to them versus a rambunctious, you know, active three year old that's charging across the room at the dog. It's a huge piece of it as well. I think the bottom line with the myths is don't make assumptions that

because A happens that B is also going to happen. There might not be good correlation there that you can hang your hat on. One of the things that I wanted to talk about is basically some of the things that people should be doing in preparation for the baby arriving. But one of the things that I have found, and again, I mentioned this example to you previously, is that one of my challenges as somebody that's in rescue is people that don't kind of think through the process. We get a lot of applications from...

young couples, young individuals, they want to adopt a pet. And it might be appropriate for the, you know, or it might not, for their lives and their lifestyle right now as a single person or as a couple. But they fully well know that in, let's say five years, they plan to have a family. And so I feel like they don't often take into consideration in their planning process when they're picking a pet, how is this pet going to interact with children?

Amy Castro (07:58.03)
So what thoughts do you have on that as far as sometimes I think it's maybe better just not even to get a pet before you have kids because you don't know how that pet's going to be with kids, but maybe I'm wrong on that. What are your thoughts? You know, I think it's really hard to convince, you know, a 23, 24 year old. That's how old I was when I got my first dog, that there's a chance in their life that they may have kids. It's a hard thing to convince them of. So, you know, there's two sides to this coin. We want people to rescue, right? But we also.

You know, and a rescue has a responsibility to make sure the dogs are going to a good home and an appropriate home. And so there is the side that they may say, I don't know that this 23 year old is at the right level to be bringing in a puppy into their home. If they are thinking like they, they may not be thinking about that. When I never thought I was going to have kids. If you had asked me at 25, if I was going to have kids, I probably would have been like, probably not.

It wasn't until I found the person that I wanted to have kids with that I decided to have kids. But I think there is the responsibility on the rescue side of being okay with saying, no, I don't think this is the right fit. Some people are that, you know, nice, really responsible young adult. And you can see that they're planning for their future. That might be a great adoption candidate. But then as far as the person who's doing the adopting, I think that.

You know, as a society, we need to really move away from this idea that like, I'll deal with it later. Like I want what I want now. And you know, if I have kids and the dog doesn't get along with the kids, then I'll get rid of it. There is not a line out the door of people saying, hi, I would like to adopt your two year old husky, your five year old husky, your 10 year old pit bull. And until society comes to the acceptance that dogs are a 10 to 15 year commitment, depending on, you know, a lot of factors.

That is not going to change. So there needs to be a big shift in general with the way that people are approaching getting a pet. Yeah, that's such a good point too. And in rescue, we try really hard to stress to people when they adopt, you know, whether it's a puppy or whatever the age of the animal is that, you know, this animal is a, is a whatever year, 10 year commitment, 15 year commitment, maybe a 20 year commitment. But I think also in the defense of people who adopt.

Amy Castro (10:15.31)
is they may not necessarily even have a clue what their life is going to be like 10 years from now. That said, I think at a certain, you know, whether it's an 80 year old that wants to adopt a kitten, you know, that's going to live 18 years, are you going to live to 98? And are you going to be capable of caring for a cat? Or a, I just got out of college, I'm engaged and you know, we want to get a pet because...

We want to have somebody as part of our family and just being able to think through, at least have a discussion about the possibilities and what if, what are we gonna do if? What if the dog loves a baby? Great. What if the dog doesn't love the baby? What's our plan? What's our backup plan? And are we willing to make that sacrifice? Yeah, definitely. It's like anything else. People generally have conversations about whether they're going to, whether it's adopting or having a baby.

there's usually a conversation beforehand about it. So same should go for a pet and then same should go for when the pet's already there first, having that conversation about bringing in a new baby to the mix for lack of a better term. yeah, definitely. And also acknowledging that there's some benefit to getting an older dog. You never exactly know when you get a puppy what their temperament will grow into. There are things that you can influence and there are things that are kind of hardwired into a dog.

And when you get an older dog, give a much better idea of the things that you're working with. And, you know, just in general, being open to exactly knowing, having a discussion and an agreement in your household about what type of dog you want, what level of commitment you can share with the dog. And I agree having a backup plan in place is so important. So let's say that somebody's kind of at that point, whether it's contemplating having kids or contemplating adoption, whatever the case may be.

Are there things that they should be looking for in their dog that says this may or may not be a fit or I should be ready that this is going to be an issue or should you just be ready regardless? The biggest thing is if someone has a dog that has reactive or sensitive tendencies, it's super high on their radar to start working with that dog early and familiarizing the dog with things that come along with having a baby. But I really want people to understand that excitement.

Amy Castro (12:32.75)
can be just as dangerous as aggression. An excited dog can knock over a child. An excited dog can jump onto a child while it's laying on the couch. I just want people to, before they're even having kids, I'm hoping that people are practicing responsible ownership and teaching dogs, you know, basic skills and understanding of how to live in this world with humans. But yes, when the baby comes along, there are things, the sound of the baby.

the where is the baby going to sleep, understanding how to set a boundary with their dog, understanding that boundaries don't mean that they don't love their dog. It really is the best way to love their dog because when your dog understands what is expected of them, then they can provide that for you and they are at a much lower risk of having to go to that backup plan situation or having to be rehomed. You bring up many good points, but you know, it makes me think about when you think about the behavior that you.

quote unquote tolerate or that you don't teach in your pets. For example, I've got a foster dog in my house right now who when she gets excited, she'll take a flying leap up over the back of the couch onto the sofa and then she'll ping off of that and jump across the coffee table to the chair. And, you know, it's not it's not good behavior. I'm not saying anybody should encourage that. But I think, you know, while it might seem funny at this point, you know, it's not going to be funny whether it's a

babysitting on that chair or a toddler sitting on that chair with a cookie or grandma who has thin skin or is going to get injured. And so I see a lot of people accepting a lot of behaviors, even just the simple jumping up. And you'll see somebody that even when we're trying to adopt animals out and we're still in the process of training the animal not to jump up and people will say, it's okay, it's okay. And it's like, well, not really, because even though you may be willing to tolerate it, it's not a behavior that we want to encourage. And there are going to be people who...

could get injured and aren't going to tolerate it. So it's really important that I think people look at, like you said, the excitement behaviors and how are they managing that excitement as at least a starting point. Cause you could be doing so many things way before you bring a baby home to get that under control. So you have some control over the situation. Yeah. Just a dog understanding how to respect, you know, like when you find out that you're having a baby and you've got a baby belly.

Amy Castro (14:52.91)
teaching that I can't tell you how many times I would be like on the expecting parents app. And women would be like, my dog jumped on my belly. Should I go get an ultrasound? I might hurt. You know what I mean? Like in order to teach your dog not to jump on a belly, then your dog shouldn't be jumping on you before you have a baby belly in order. Like, and then as soon as you have a baby, the baby goes from your belly to being very close to your chest. These are all things. It's, it's exactly what dog training is stacking behaviors, shaping behaviors. It's not.

really an event. The training isn't an event where all of a sudden you taught your dog not to jump up on you and they never jump up on you again. It's a lifestyle that you live with your dog. And if you're accepting things that are going to be problematic when you have children, it's unfair to think like, I'm having kids now you need to behave when for five years they've been allowed to be joyful and fun and free. And that includes, like you said,

I have clients who laugh at that kind of thing all the time and I can appreciate the humor of the situation. But yeah, you know, like a big thing when I do board and trains with people is I say, tell me, you know, what you expect your dog to do on furniture. Is it okay if they go on the couch? And they're like, yeah, I don't care about this couch. When we get a new one though, we're going to teach the dog not to go on it. Well, that's not fair. You should be using the one that you have to set the example so that when you get something important and valuable to you,

There's a foundation of understanding so that the learning is easier on the dog. Yeah. Use the old couch as the training couch. That's such a good point. And there's so much opportunity here that people aren't taking. And then the dog pays the price because that's the call that I get. You do get the occasional, I'm pregnant and I have to get rid of my pet. But oftentimes it's that.

The dog's two, two and a half years old. It's gotten to its full adult size. Hormones have kicked in, assuming it's, you know, if it's not neutered, but even then, you know, it's gotten to a decent size and nobody spent any time the last two, two and a half years training it. And so now we either need to throw it in the backyard and that's where it's going to spend the rest of its life, or we want to get rid of it. And what people don't realize is that's one of the harder ages to rehome a pet. Once you decide, I don't want to keep my pet anymore. So.

Amy Castro (17:06.318)
You know, if you can prevent that, please, please do so. It's really not that much work. It really is just going into it, knowing what you want your lifestyle to look like with your dog. And I think a lot of people just assume that when they get a dog, it's all fun and it's not. And I know that when I was young and we had a family pet, I didn't have to do any of the heavy lifting my parents did. And by the time I was old enough to take her on a walk and do stuff with her, she was an eight year old, perfect, both in retriever.

Yeah, so you got the benefit of all the work that your parents put in. Yeah. So what else? Let's just assume that somebody knows a baby is going to be coming in whatever time frame there is. Hopefully they've got a pretty good heads up. What are some of the other things that they can be doing to prepare the dog, prepare their home in advance?

As soon as you know where the baby is going to be sleeping, whether that's a nursery, whether that's a bedside bassinet, you're going to want to start setting boundaries to those spaces, whether it's the dog definitely shouldn't be on any surface that the baby is sleeping or being changed. And I know for myself, I did a lot of that in my bedroom and on my bed and my baby had a bedside bassinet. So my dogs were not allowed to come into my room. We implemented that early on.

And then we also don't let our dogs in our children's room. And that's becoming very handy. One, when they're really little, it's just a good idea to have that separation. And as my children have gotten older and they've gotten more and more toys, so many toys, expensive toys, toys with little parts, toys that can be swallowed. It's just so much easier to know that like they understand that they don't go in there and they don't touch those things. It saves me in veterinary bills.

It saves me in frustration. That's probably the biggest one. And then really for the early on days right after your baby is born, you're going to be doing a lot of things like tummy time. So get that equipment out there, get your baby swings out, get your, you know, wherever they're going to be doing their tummy time there, whether it's on a blanket or a mat or whatever, and teach the dog that they also don't go on those surfaces. Really just focus on what that relationship, you know, encouraging a relationship with your dog where they look to you for information and you know exactly what you want.

Amy Castro (19:23.374)
to do. And the biggest thing you're teaching them is to just give that baby space. Yeah, creating those boundaries and the expectations of behavior sounds like that's huge. And like you said, it's never too early to start that. It's something that you can be doing all along. So it's not so much work at the last minute because once I see people trying to do this at the last minute, like somebody's eight months pregnant or

they're adopting a baby and it's coming next week and they're in panic mode for all the factors that play into that. Who's got time to train the dog at that point? It's also really stressful for the dog. Like imagine having all year to study for an exam and then you wait until a week before. Right. You're probably not going to score very well. And so, you know, when all of that stress becomes associated with the baby, that's a great foundation for them to not have a great relationship.

The dog is not going to see the baby positively if all of this stress and change happens all in one time. That is a recipe for disaster. Just out of curiosity, I'm envisioning a scenario where somebody does wait till the last minute and they haven't done that groundwork and now it's suddenly, you know, screaming at the dog, get off this, don't touch that, get away, get out of here. I would assume that's not creating a great foundation for the...

relationship between the dog and the baby? Do they make the connection that it's the baby that's like, it's the baby's that's causing me not to be able to get on the couch or it's the baby or do they not really take it that far? It just creates stress. I would say the dogs can definitely develop a negative association when everything, you know, it's kind of like with kids when they get a sibling and they want you to read, you know, books about being a big, an older sibling and, and all of these things, you want to do so much preparation for your children. We want to do the same thing for our dogs.

They don't understand what we're saying from a linguistic perspective, but they do understand how we feel when we're stressed. They know about it. When we aren't feeling good, they know about it. And we walk in the door with that baby and all of a sudden life changes in a day. That's hard. That's really hard for the dog. And you know who did it? That thing, that thing is new and that thing is different. And it's because of that thing that I, you know, it's like, I always think of the movie lady in the tramp.

Amy Castro (21:37.422)
Everything was great until the baby was born and now she's in the dog house outside. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And it happens more often than I like to think about it. That's for sure. And we can set those boundaries. You can teach a dog to live in a crate and have a comfortable association and wonderful association to those things long before the baby gets here. And then that way the dog's like, man, I'm so happy that I'm in here. Cause that thing hasn't stopped crying for days. That's right. I got some peace to get away from that thing.

Yeah. Anything else as far as prep in advance before we talk about bringing home baby? Hmm. I mean, also agreement with your partner. I think that's probably the number one point of contention when I go and I work with a family is one parent feels one way about it and the other parent is kind of dismissive. And I think that just has a lot to do with how people adjust to the idea of becoming a parent.

It's a bit of a delay tactic. It's a bit of a denial tactic for some people. But, you know, even if you need to go get a third party therapist for one session to just talk about what it means to be in agreement about what's going on in your household, like that's not a bad investment. I oftentimes play that role. I'm the person who comes in and says, you've got to understand how she feels about this thing. And the other partner doesn't necessarily feel like a parent yet.

But I always say that we move at the speed of the slowest member of the pack. And so if someone isn't ready for a certain level of freedom with the dog, then the rest of the family shouldn't be moving forward until they're comfortable. That's such a good point. You know, I was thinking too, it made me think about not only just the readiness for the human child, but I started thinking too, you know, sometimes people come into a relationship with a pet. So it's his dog or her dog or their dog or whatever the case may be.

And it's all fine and good when it's just us and the dog. But then when the baby comes along, it's suddenly the non -original parent of the dog is like, well, get your dog out of here. And that can create friction too, I think. And so to me, if it's friction already about trying to create boundaries for the dog, how's that going to play out with your kid? Like you're going to, whatever those relationship issues are, they're not necessarily about the dog. They're about.

Amy Castro (24:01.614)
control, they're about lack of cooperation, lack of accountability, and that's going to carry over into your parenting your kids. So why not get it out of the way now? There's a big focus in social media among parents about mental load.

And if the mental load of caring for the dog, training the dog, setting boundaries with the dog all falls on the person who's home with the baby, that's going to create a lot of fatigue for that person. And if so, if the other person is gone all day and comes home from work and is like, I love my nighttime wrestle with my dog. Well, you better be ready to turn that off when you're done playing with your toy, because if it keeps going, now you're fighting at bedtime.

Now you're fat, you know, things that should be fun, beautiful family time are filled with, you know, animosity and resentment towards each other. And that is when we really get into like, I'll go and see a family and I go, I'll help you with the dog, but you guys also really need a therapist. So what about bringing home baby? You know, I don't know if, is there a particular timeline of activities? Cause I don't know how people do this. When I, when I brought my baby home, who my baby's 31 now, I mean, I think.

My husband's parents were there. My mother was living in another part of the country. She was coming later. So it wasn't like a big to do or a big party. It was pretty, pretty quiet. But are there any specific things that people should do in that first moment, that first day, first couple of days that are important? So the way that I suggest that families do it when I do my virtual coaching is one.

It's kind of like your birth plan. Have a plan, but also understand that there may be adjustments. When you have a baby, there are so many things from a medical perspective that can be uncertain and happen, and I don't want to scare anyone, but you know, you just never know how that's going to work out and you have to kind of be flexible. But whenever you do walk in the door for the first time with your baby, what I like to do is one parent stands outside with baby,

Amy Castro (26:06.638)
while the mom goes inside, greets the dog, the dog is going to sniff mom up and down, up and down all over, take her in, mom is different, mom smells different, mom is completely different than she was when she walked out the door. And then they get to have their own little reunion. So then that way you don't have to worry about, my gosh, don't jump, jump, jump, jump, jump, jump, jump. If the dog makes a mistake, the dog is making a mistake with someone it's very familiar with.

And then I have mom go outside and I have the other parent come in and greet the dog. And what that does is it alleviates some of the social pressure that the dog feels about your reunion. And then baby comes out of the car seat and is held close enough high. I've also had people put the baby in like their stroller bassinet. And then they come in and I just want everyone to kind of act normal. Know what you want your dog to do. Do you want your dog on a place bed? Do you want your dog on a leash?

It's all going to depend on what you've done so far up until this point training with your dog. If you haven't done a lot, then that dog needs to be on leash or in a kennel. And I would say that that first event, you just want space, you want calmness, you want respect. Understand that the greeting and meeting the baby is not a one -time event. It's something that is created over the first couple of weeks. So you do not need your dog to put their face.

in the carrier and sniff your baby in the car seat. You don't need the dog to sniff the baby's butt or diaper. Dogs have excellent noses. They know that there's something there. And then I just like to keep that I ended in a really nice, calm way. The parents can sit on the couch. The dog is nice and calm. Then we go ahead and put the dog in the crate and we move on with everything that we're going to do with babies. So, you know, just making sure that like the dog gets to see each parent and

When the baby walks in the room, I would not make it a big celebration or an event. I would not have them get really close to each other and sniff. I would not encourage and use a lot of sound. I would encourage people to, instead of looking at it as an event, look at it as a moment. A moment you can talk about how you want to feel. You know, focus on how you want to feel when they meet and what you want your dog to feel and what you want your baby to feel. We want everyone to feel safe, calm, quiet.

Amy Castro (28:28.654)
That's such a good point. I think people emit so much excitement sometimes with animals and then they get angry when the animal responds in kind or they get upset or try to rein it in after they've wired them all up. But then the other thing you said too is the talking. My gosh, just people shut up. Stop talking so much. It's like, they're like, my goodness, it's your new baby. And the dog is like, why are we, what's going on? my gosh. Yeah. It's chaos and mayhem to the dog.

Yeah, just remember it's hard to do a lot of things at once and it's going to take all of their energy to focus on having four on the floor in a calm state of mind. And for a lot of dogs, that's a lot of work, especially in such an important moment. They are going to want to be a part of it. But I will also say that brings up another point. Make sure you have a plan for where your dogs are going to go when you are bringing home your baby, however you're bringing home your baby, whether you're

having a baby or you're adopting a baby. When you get that phone call or when you call someone to say, Hey, we're headed to the hospital or the birthing center. However, you need someone who's going to come pick up your dogs or stay with your dogs and then, you know, make sure that person is a trusted person. And also I don't recommend going to and from the hospital because y 'all are going to be tired. Very, very tired. So.

The more that you can just focus on taking care of yourself and nurturing yourself and then putting someone in charge of the dogs until you have that reunion, you know, I just want everyone to feel good and acknowledge that we are not going to be peak performance that week. We're going to be like showing up the best we can and it may not be great every day. Yeah. Yeah. I think it's important. You said as far as, you know, that, that plan and I think choosing, we've got a couple episodes of this podcast that we've

got coming up that have to do with handlers, you know, who's going to be handling the pet. And I think choosing wisely, I think back and it wasn't a birth, but it was a hospital situation where everybody was at the hospital. Grandma got sent home, actually, in my defense, grandma was specifically told not to take the dog out when she went back to the house, just give her, you know, give her some water. We hadn't been gone that long, et cetera. Next thing you know, grandma's taking the dog out and getting

Amy Castro (30:46.798)
pulled down and having her shoulder dislocated by the dog. And then the dog was gone for four days in a strange town, dragging her leash behind her. So it all turned out okay in the end, but it shouldn't have been grandma that got sent home to do anything with the dog. So I think that's an important point to know, know your people and know who can handle the responsibility and who can follow instructions, I think is probably important. And in her defense, she was just, she felt bad for the dog. She just figured, I'll just take the dog out. And under a normal circumstances,

at the dog's own home, it probably would have been okay, but in a strange place with no backyard fence and a bunch of squirrels, apparently it didn't work out well for anybody. So beyond that first day and that first introduction, what would be some other advice to get people started? I always tell whoever will be home with the baby in the beginning, you need to have a plan. If you are by yourself and you do not 100 % know the outcome of a situation, you're going to be tired.

You're going to be sleep deprived. You're going to be dealing with a lot of hormonal adjustments and everything that's going on with the baby. So if you need to crate your dog, crate your dog. If you need to have a baby gate up, have a baby gate. Pick a priority. Is your priority bathing the baby or is it teaching the dog how to be with the baby? I want people to be very intentional with everything that they do with the baby when the dog is a part of it.

If you don't know exactly what you want them to do, they're just going to do what they think is the best thing for them to do, which may not be the actual best thing for them to do. And that's how mistakes happen. So it's okay to say, you know, these first six weeks, my dog is created more than usual. You can send them to doggie daycare. You can have a dog walker come by. You can have, you know how they do meal trains and everyone starts delivering food to your door. Have people come over and walk your dog.

that you trust. And I think the hardest part is actually reaching out to people and saying like, Hey, would you mind going in the backyard and playing fetch with my dog for 20 minutes? You don't have to be the trainer of the year right now. You just have to be doing things with them that help them remember that you're still a part of their life and that honor them as a dog in terms of they do need exercise. So if you are going to be utilizing things like a crate or a baby gate,

Amy Castro (33:08.142)
making sure that there is an outlet for them to get some of that energy out. Yeah, good point. My dogs are very used to their crate. We don't even call them crates. We call them, it's their houses. And so if I say houses, they all go to their individual crates. Like they know their house, that's where they get fed. That's where they sleep at night. And that's where they go when I leave the house. And so it's a, it's a comfortable place for them. But at the same time,

I might feel guilty if I had to leave them in there while I'm home. I think it's not even a matter of the time, but it's a matter of I'm right here and you're in the crate and I might feel guilty. Well, it's okay for your dog to be in that situation, even if they're not super happy about it, because there's going to be a time limit to it. X number of months will go by and yeah, maybe they spent more time in their crate, but they've got a lifetime ahead. And I think.

that also tends to be a trigger, because I hear this a lot from people where they say, well, it's not fair to the dog that I don't have time to do this, or it's not fair to the dog that I don't have time to do that. But how much time did you really spend doing that before? Or the fact that, yes, you might not have time to do this for the next six months or maybe even the next year, but is that a crisis when the dog still got 14 years of happy living ahead? I mean, I think you have to think about that instead of feeling guilt and then making some type of a mistake that causes a problem.

Yeah, because what you'll really feel guilty about if you don't utilize boundaries is when you do have to give away your dog or drop it off at a shelter because you've had a negative interaction between your dog and your baby and now you're scared. So that is a real shame. The amount of time that your dog will have a limited lifestyle after baby is a drop in the bucket compared to their lifetime together with your baby and in your family.

And so, yeah, you know, if you think it's sad that your dog has to be created more than usual, it's going to be really, really sad if they have to go to another home because you aren't able to set boundaries with them and provide clarity on what's expected. Right. Or they spend time at a shelter where they basically spend possibly 24 -7 in the equivalent of a crate. So definitely something to think about. So let's say that a person has created a plan, they've got a strategy, they've created their boundaries. But then, you know, when babies come,

Amy Castro (35:17.166)
So do all kinds of relatives coming out of the woodwork, especially grandparents. They want to be there. And I personally have experienced pressure from mothers -in -law and other similar type people who feel like they know better than I do about how to manage my baby, let alone my pet. Any thoughts or advice for pet parents on how they can keep grandparents at bay or maybe gain their support? Well,

This is what I typically tell clients. If you give them the baby and you put the dog away, it eliminates many opportunities for anyone to have any input on what they think about your dog's behavior, whether it be they think you should be giving them more freedom, or they think you should be giving them less freedom. Out of sight, out of mind. If you put this little beautiful infant in front of them and say, here, hold this.

and the dog is away in another room, the priority is the baby. And yes, that does work in the beginning, but eventually down the line, you know, you just got to do what you've got to do. What you know is best for your family. Sometimes people say something and there is a genuine concern. Maybe the dog is doing something and the family doesn't realize it. And it is a good time for them to speak up and say, are you sure? And that is going to all.

hum and how they communicate that to people. And I hope that if you are observing a family member who's doing something that you feel is unsafe between their dog and their kids, that you can just say, look, I love you so much and I love this baby. Can I share my concern with you? Because I just want you to have the happiest life. You know, I think the intention behind it is so important. But then on the other hand, if people are just being nosy and bossy, if you just remove the dog from the situation,

there is a going to be a decrease in the amount of opinions they can have because they're just not seeing it as much. Right. That's a good point. And I think, you know, you kind of gave some very good advice there because that's going to lead us to our next subject, which is how do we know that the dog is under stress despite what we're doing or that maybe this is not going to work out. And we talked about this before. We've seen videos that people will post on social media.

Amy Castro (37:27.918)
And they think that the video is just hysterical. Look at, or not even hysterical, look how cute this is. My baby is using the dog as a pony or as a bouncing device and look how much he tolerates. And my thought is always, did you see the look in his eyes? Did you see the licklipping? Did you see the yawning? All of the signs that says the dog is not enjoying this. And my first thought, it's always, yeah, it was all fine and good until the dog bites the kid in the face. And so I think.

If you see that, you know, as somebody who's observing that, if I was observing that in real life, there's a huge difference between saying that that dog's going to bite that baby. You need to get that baby away from that dog and saying exactly what you said. Can I give you some information or can I share an observation or can I share a concern that I have? Because most people aren't going to say no. And once they've said yes, then they kind of have to at least listen to it, especially if you put it out there nicely. So.

That's such good advice for, you know, for, I'm hoping that there probably are grandparents and aunts and uncles and things like that that are listening. And maybe you've seen things that make you concerned and you definitely should, you know, it doesn't help for you to say afterwards, I knew that dog was going to bite that kid in the face, you know, say it beforehand, but say it in a way that the person's able to hear it. Yeah. Like if I see a client post something on social media, I will immediately say, Hey, your dog looks uncomfortable.

I kind of have permission to do that because they've given me money to share my opinion. Generally, if they're a client, it's easy for me to say, hey, whoa, whoa, whoa, just so you know, and they know that I love their dog. I have a client who sent me a video of her dog interacting with her niece and her niece was probably about one. I said, she's not very comfortable with that interaction and just because she's allowing it doesn't mean that she's enjoying.

And so I think that that's really important for people to understand that just because your dog is tolerant, I mean, don't get me wrong, resilience in a dog and a family pet is a great thing to have because kids fall over, things happen, life happens, and you don't want to walk on eggshells all the time. However, if you're allowing your child to repeatedly do things to a dog or be near them or in their space or take their bone or touch their food or in their water bowl, whatever those things are, like,

Amy Castro (39:48.238)
When I was dating my husband, I used to pretend like I didn't care that he ate food off of my plate or drink from my glass. And now that we're married, I'm like, I'll stab you with a fork if you touch my food on my plate one more time. Right? Like there are things that in the beginning a dog will tolerate that in the long term they won't. And so it is really important to have those defined spaces of like,

I always say dirty dancing. When Johnny Castle says, this is my dance space and this is your dance space. You don't go into mine and I don't go into yours. Teaching that level of respect is important. But as an observer, if you're seeing like, my gosh, my dog, my kids just hang all over my dog. People say this to me all the time. And I just say, for now, for now, but understand that with kids and dogs, practice becomes permanent. Practice doesn't become perfect.

Practice becomes permanent. So if you allow a child to continually invade a dog space, the child is going to continue to do that. They're not just going to grow up. A three year old isn't going to go, you know what? You're right. You have to actually physically get up and like remove them. If the child is doing something, that's another time that a crate or a baby gate is great. When you're like, Hey dog, I'm going to give you a break. You don't have to be a nanny dog right now. You can just go ahead and hang out and enjoy some peace and quiet.

But yeah, those whale eyes, the licking of the lips, airplane ears when their ears are like kind of out and flat like this and uncertain, lifting of the paw uncertainty. Just understand that you don't want to wait until you see those signs because it may be a split second between when they give a sign and when they do something. So just because a dog is giving a sign doesn't mean you have a lot of time to intervene. You may be too late.

because I know my dogs are fast. I have a Pomsky. He's faster than I am a lot of times. Yeah. And that's, you know, I think where working with a trainer like yourself would be so beneficial because I don't know that people really, well, I do know, I do know that most people don't know a whole lot about dog body language and there's probably body language that they have observed in their pet to date that.

Amy Castro (42:02.734)
they don't realize that it is signs of discomfort. What people are looking for is they're looking for a growl, they're looking for fur to go up on their back, and there are a lot of way subtle hints that your dog is giving you of, and you said the word, discomfort. Discomfort can lead to aggression very quickly, and your dog shouldn't be placed in a position.

where it is uncomfortable on a regular basis. And I mean, dogs need to become resilient. I mean, they're, they're at some point you're going to have to figure out, is there a balance between my dog's discomfort and operating with the kids because kids are kids, right? Like you said, kids are going to fall down. Kids are going to do whatever they do. And you know, can your dog handle that? But I think there's a fine line between having your dog be tolerant and allowing your kids to abuse your dog. It happened one time at the shelter.

young woman came in and she's like, I need a dog that my, that my kid can just beat up on. Get out of here. It's like, well, he's only three. No, it's probably not the best age to get a dog. I will tell you that if you have a three year old, just wait till they're a little older. Three is a tough age. Their brains are going through so much and it's very taxing as a parent of a three year old. Also another really good thing is to just, when kids start walking and crawling and the

Children, you know, it's one thing when when they're infants and the dog can come into the baby space and leave on their own Accord it's very different when you start getting into walking and crawling and the baby can now enter the dog space at that point I tell people just teach the dog to leave anytime the child starts walking towards the dog Just teach the dog to exit teach the dog to put themselves to bed teach the dog to leave the room It's a really good skill to have

And because I also think people are like, you know, the parents probably weren't supervising. I can tell you for 100 % fact that there are times as a parent that like I get distracted, the water boils over on the stove and I got to go turn off the burner. Like life happens. And you know, that's why in our house, because we manage so many dogs, that there are just certain times of day where like our witching hours where the dogs just.

Amy Castro (44:17.998)
are created and put away because I personally cannot handle, I do not have the emotional bandwidth to give guidance to a three -year -old, a one -year -old, and a bunch of dogs while I'm cooking dinner and going into bath time and winding down for bed. Right. You know, just because you can do it all doesn't mean you need to do it all every single day. Make things easy on yourself.

Right. And then unfortunately we don't heed the warning signs. We don't take the precautions. And, you know, I'll just, I'll just tell a quick story from my own personal experience. I kind of alluded to it before, but we had a dog named Clyde. We got him right when I was getting out of the military. So he spent time with just my husband and myself. Then in the transition process of moving, he spent a lot of time at my in -laws and he did not get the socialization that he needed around people, let alone children.

And, you know, it progressed on, we had a child, he was seemingly tolerant of the child. I did not know as much about animal behavior as I do now. And he was, you know, he was not good with strangers. He would growl at strangers. He would quote unquote, guard the stroller when we went around the block. And I thought, isn't that great? He's protecting, he's protecting me and the baby. And I misread all of his signs until one day I was in the shower. I had, and my daughter was probably.

almost three and she comes in screaming with her face bleeding because she had the dog was sleeping. He didn't kind of initiate it, but she must've gone over and kind of thrown herself down on him while he was sleeping. And he just nipped her in the face and it caught right, you know, right at the edge of her eye. It wasn't a bad bite, but it did require stitches and it could have been a horrific bite. And so I had so much opportunity like.

two and a half years of opportunity where I could have done some things better to manage the situation, but I wasn't aware of the signs. And so I'm hoping that through this episode, people will learn from that experience. And, you know, we see it on the news all of the time of the horrible things that can happen to children and adults when people did not heed the warning signs or take the appropriate precautions in dealing with a dog that had whatever the issues might be.

Amy Castro (46:38.862)
Yeah, I just had a client the other day reach out to me and we had done a lot of really amazing work with her dog and my kids. And I said, you know, you have to understand, you know, my kids are super, very practiced at this. Very, very practiced. They've grown up around dogs. They have a really wonderful way of interacting with dogs. And so you can't take what you see here and just go out on the street and start implementing it. And the next day.

They had friends over for a pool party and the two year old, the dog was on the couch. It's like a little small, like 15 pound dog. And the two year old was walking on the couch and dropped a toy and the dog was asleep and the dog got scared and woke up and bit the baby on the hand. And she's like, he had bit the baby, which sounds terrifying. And it is terrifying, but you know, as a parent, when I'm a guest in someone else's home, I just don't let my kids.

interact with their dog, I pretty much play lifeguard and coach when we are in someone else's home. And I will also say that with my first daughter, for the entire first year of her life, we just didn't go to people's homes with dogs, because we didn't want to be dismissed. And we didn't want to feel like we had to be super hyper vigilant. And we didn't want to walk in and be like, you know, we don't need her to pet the dog and have them go, well, our dog loves kids like.

We just made the decision that that's another thing that I wasn't emotionally ready to defend my position on this to anybody. And so we just removed ourselves from the situation or we opted to be the host instead of the guests. You know, it's, it's tough. And I will say the nice thing about, you know, the last 20 years in dog training is that there is so much more information available to people now.

Easily accessible before I remember when I was young and my parents had dogs. You actually had to go to like Barnes and Noble and buy a book And like read it about dog training, right? And now you have the internet and you have Instagram and you have YouTube and you have courses and you have online things like there's so many more resources available to people. We just need to utilize them. Right? Yeah. So what would be some signs?

Amy Castro (48:58.03)
Because I personally have experienced, you know, again, I get all these calls from people wanting to surrender their pets. And there are times where, you know, after asking some questions and getting some information, it's obvious that A, they've done everything right. And the dog is just not a fit for kids. And so unless you're going to spend the next 20 years, 18 years, whatever, trying to keep the dog away from the child or the next 10 years, when they get to a certain point.

It's just not working. What would be some signs that the person should consider rehoming their pet? I mean, the most obvious is if the dog has done something and the owner say, that's my line. Like I know me as a person, I can't do anything else. I don't have the funds to hire a trainer. I don't have, I don't want, I don't want to say I don't have the time. I don't want to make the time. I don't want to prioritize the time. I'm not at a space in my life. I would rather even though.

that's a really disappointing thing to hear in another human being. I would rather them remove the dog from the home than have a tragedy. But for most people when they call, they do want to do some work and they do want to keep the dog in the home. Generally, if people call me. So if they're willing to do some work, the only time that I would say I absolutely would not, I'm not even going to accept any funds from you is if...

whatever bite that occurred, should it happen again, could actually be really dangerous. So there's a big difference between, you know, a child falls on a sleeping dog and a dog goes, hey, a reaction type thing. Can we manage that situation? Can we correct that situation? Can we remedy it now that we know what the dog is willing to do? Yeah, you probably can. Now if the dog...

is doing something that you're, you know, if you're as a family or doing something that you do all the time, let's say swimming in the pool and every time the dog sees the kids in the pool, they're the splashing dog. It's really stressed out and wants to control the children's movement by using their mouth. That's kind of something that we can work on. Can manage that. We can remove the dog from certain events. We can, you know, work through developing a better association. Now let's just say your kid is sitting on the couch and your dog's across the room and.

Amy Castro (51:21.006)
starts growling or you bring the baby home and you put it in the bassinet and the dog looks at the bassinet and says, starts growling, feeling predatory. That's also probably not going to turn out well. So I would say, you know, when you start, there are people who do want to keep their dog and their dog is actually doing things that are pretty dangerous. You know, the best way to know is to have a professional come out and evaluate them.

And I would encourage you that that professional be a parent themselves, because there are people who are in the industry that their job is to sell boarding trains and training programs. And for $6 ,000, I'll take your dog for six weeks and this, that, and the other. You also want someone who's like, would I have this dog with my child? Would I have this dog in my home? And I think that's really important.

And I, you know, encourage people to understand that anytime you have a pet and you're bringing in a child, you know, an evaluation like that is worth its weight in gold. I don't want parents standing there going, is this bad? Is my child going to get hurt? I don't want them to be confused. But yeah, I did. The only time there were two times that I told the parents, I won't even, I'm not even going to accept any money for any training because I really don't think that.

this is going to have the outcome that you want it to have. And one was the mother called and said, my dog bit my eight month old baby on the head, two canines here, two canines here. And with the idea that practice becomes permanent, if that dog is practicing biting here, the next step of that is biting here and shaking, you know, putting their teeth around the head and shaking, and that is killing. So that's scary. And I said,

I wouldn't live with that dog. I don't think that dog should stay in your home." And they were devastated. But there was also a lot of things in the previous eight years that they did not pay attention to leading up to that moment. And the other time I told someone, I had a client who reached out to me and her sister had passed away and she became the guardian to her niece and nephew. And one of the dogs, the kids were swimming in the pool and the dog...

Amy Castro (53:46.574)
tackled the child, bit the child on the face, and then someone actually had to come and physically remove the dog. So when the dog is not stopping, that's a problem. So there's a big difference between a dog reacting to a stimulus it didn't understand that was coming and a dog seeking out confrontation and following through. That is the big line for me. And I think that anyone who works with dogs would agree that there are

great ways that we can spend our resources and you know, that just the danger, the possibility for danger in that situation or something worse happening, like I don't want to find out. Yeah. And it's like, no matter who your dog is or how much work you've done, dogs are still dogs and you can't 100 % predict anything from that perspective. And so,

You know, it's something that people do need to consider when they have pets in their home. 100 % dogs are predators with teeth. And some of them happen to be very family friendly predators with teeth. And some of them are not as, as resilient. I think of myself as I, as I grow through my life, I change my preferences, change my ability to handle tough situations, change some skills I get better with some skills when I'm not practicing them, I get worse.

And the dogs are the exact same way. They are not one constant way through their entire life. And they're going to change. Their preferences are going to change. Their ability to perform well is going to change. Like I woke up this morning and I was just irritable. And I think that sometimes, you know, my dogs, I have a, I have a really super social dog. And as he gets older, he doesn't want to be playing and wrestling at the bottom of the pile anymore. He's more grown up.

And so dogs change as they go through their life and, you know, moving houses is really tough for them. Having babies is really tough for them. The construction next door can be really hard for dogs. They are not one way their whole life. And especially once you start getting into those senior years, they may have actual physical pain, you know, arthritis or kidney disease. They can't raise their hand and say, you know what, I don't, I feel irritable today.

Amy Castro (56:08.142)
you know, they don't have that luxury. They can only act a certain way until you notice. Right. And so I just think it's important to acknowledge that they are individuals with personalities and temperaments and that they're not always one baseline. Yeah. So we always need to stay aware and be attentive to those changes as they grow, as the kids grow along the way. So that's such a good point.

Yeah, dogs are responsibility. I think people get them because they're like, I want to know about it. They get dogs because they think about what the dog is going to give to them in their life. And what they need to remember is that in this commitment, they are also going to be giving a lot to this animal and it costs money. They require, you know, veterinary care and specialists and all of those food. And it's not a bare minimum kind of thing. It is work. And so.

You know, I think sometimes people start to shy away when they have kids because it's hard to have kids. It's a big life change and they also are expensive and they drain our patience. Yeah. Yeah. Something to think about when you're, when you're making all of these decisions, whether it's getting a pet, getting a child, when to do either of those things.

And, you know, how ready are you for the challenges that come along with that? So you had mentioned that there, you know, is a plethora of information out there and obviously people want to be smart about where they're getting it. I want you to share information about your bringing home baby course and any other courses that, you know, would help us with this subject. And if there's any other, you know, specific resources off the top of your head that you think would be important for people to look at, and also for everybody to know that we will put links and things up in our show notes.

so that you have access to this information.

Amy Castro (58:00.462)
Yeah, definitely. On my website, babypackleader .com, we have several free guides on topics such as caregivers, skills that you want your dog to have before you bring home baby. So we have a lot of free resources and blogs there. We're on a variety of topics. And then we also have our bringing home baby course, which is designed for parents who are expecting or who have just brought home a baby and are realizing that they're a little underprepared. It's training videos that show you what to do and

how to train it and how to work with different personality types from puppies, older dogs, excited dogs, nervous dogs. We try to add to that course all of the time. And when you enroll in the course, you get to be a part of the community of moms where we talk. And then I also do virtual meetups. They're drop -in classes where people can come on a variety of topics. And yeah, I think there's also a lot of, I have a lot of great colleagues too that have, share a lot of wonderful information online. You can find

Myself on Instagram, I try to share videos of my own personal experience with my dogs and some of the dogs that are going through our program in person. If you do have a dog and baby question, I have a form on my website where you can submit your question and include as many details as you want. And every Wednesday, answer those questions on my Instagram. Awesome. So, and remind me again, I know you're in Arizona. What is it? Mesa?

I'm in Mesa, so I service Mesa, Scottsdale, Gilbert, Chandler, Tempe area in Arizona. Basically the East Valley. There you go.

So if you're lucky enough to be living in Arizona in that area, you might have opportunities to work with Eileen in person, but if not, she's got these fantastic resources on her website. And I think that concept of having that community behind and having that interactive element is super helpful. It's like, get the basic understanding by taking the course.

Amy Castro (59:56.878)
and then get involved in the community because you just never know what's going to come up and what experiences other people have that are unique. I also understand that you might possibly have a little bonus for our listeners related to the course. I do. And anyone who purchases the course, it's $39. It's a great deal. If you use the code STARLIGHT, 50 % of the proceeds will go back to STARLIGHT Outreach and Rescue.

to help the animals that you have in your care and to help you keep rescuing and serving your community. Awesome. Thank you so much. That's very generous of you. And my gosh, for $39 to have the guidance to prep for this important milestone in your life, people better be jumping all over that. And grandparents, you don't even have to be the one having the baby, but you can just be a family member and understand what's involved in that preparation process and maybe be a source of information and support for your.

for your family, kind of take the course together kind of thing. I love working with grandparents. It's working with grandparents is the sweetest. It's so wonderful to hear them talk about their own children. And it's so wonderful to hear all of the love that they have for this baby that's coming into their life. And I also love to hear about how much they love their children's pets and how they just want everything to be so great.

So it's always really nice when I talk to the expecting parents and I get to brag about how much their parents love them. that's nice. Yeah. Well, Eileen, thank you so much for being here on the show today. I just, I, I'm so glad that we did this subject. I think it's so incredibly important to, you know, it's, it's, our goal is to keep families together, you know, way more than is happening right now.

with this information. And I think you've shared with us some very practical tips and some great resources so that parents can do that preparation in advance and make the whole process go as smoothly as possible. So thank you so much for your experience and your wisdom and your knowledge. Aw, thank you for having me. I had a wonderful time. So easy talking to you. I know you too. We'll probably have to do some more podcast episodes together.

Amy Castro (01:02:19.502)
So thank you also to everybody who's listened to this episode of Starlight Pet Talk. If you have a friend, family member, or anybody else in your life who is at the stage where they're contemplating parenthood, please be sure to share this episode with them. I think it could be not only a super helpful resource to make sure that we keep families intact and keep everybody happy and safe. Thanks for listening to Starlight Pet Talk.

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