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And Baby Makes 5!

Just as couples prepare for their baby’s arrival by taking childbirth classes and by practicing their diapering, holding and feeding skills with a friend’s baby, there are ways to help a pet prepare for the new family member.

What: a workshop on preparing your furry family for the new arrival 

When: Monday, June 19, 2017, 6-8pm

Where: The Humane Society of Jefferson County, W6127 Kiesling Rd, Jefferson, WI 53549

RSVP: The Humane Society of Jefferson County, 920-674-2048, shelter@hsjc-wis.com.

Cost: No formal fee, but we suggest a $5 donation to the Humane Society of Jefferson County to help cover the cost of materials and organizing this event.

Children reap deep benefits from growing up with a pet. Animals give unconditional love and are loyal companions, both of which help promote self-esteem and a sense of security.

They provide stability during periods of change, such as a move to another location or a divorce. And, under the supervision of a parent, children learn responsibility through chores such as feeding, grooming and walking pets.

Some parents have noticed improvement in an infant’s motor coordination as he/she crawls in pursuit of cats or dogs. The pets, who gain another playmate, can benefit, too.

We'll cover such topics as:

  1. Preparing your cat or dog for the arrival of a baby:
    1. Scent transfer activities
    2. Help pets get used to less attention/your attention being given to another person
    3. Changing routines a few weeks before the due date
    4. Creating a child-free area for the pet to use as a safe space
  2. Polishing obedience skills before you need them:
    1. Teach dogs how to greet politely, without jumping on people
    2. Teach cats how to interact gently with people
    3. Practice nail trimming for cats
    4. Teach/refresh leave it/drop it
    5. Work with your dog to be comfortable with people around food/toys
  3. Understand how your dog or cat may react to different developmental stages: moving, crying, floor play, crawling, walking, running
    1. Learn common stress signals in dogs and cats
    2. Understand how to respond appropriately when your dog or cat is stressed
    3. Plan to supervise carefully so that you can provide guidance for the child and the pet
  4. Where to turn for help:
    1. LMVC: Don’t be afraid to ask for advice
    2. Reliable websites and great books
    3. Professional behavioral help

This fun class is taught by Kaley Fuchs, CVT, and Mittsy Voiles, B.A., CPDT-KA. Students will have plenty of time for questions and discussion.