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Theo and Beau

posted November 24th, 2013 by
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This might be the cutest thing I have ever seen in my life. If Theo and Beau haven’t shown up in your Facebook feed yet, you are missing out.

Mom blogger Jessica Shyba and her family recently adopted a puppy from the Santa Cruz SPCA. And ever since Theo and Shyba’s toddler Beau have taken daily naps together.

Shyba has been documenting the adorableness and sharing it with the world via Instagram here: Immediately popular, they even have their own hashtag #TheoAndBeau

So, who is ready for a nap now?

-Lauren Cavagnolo, [email protected]

Dogs and kids, part 2

posted August 20th, 2013 by
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Since I am nearing the end of pregnancy, I have babies on the brain. I recently wrote this response to an article advising couples who want kids to not get a dog.

I’m pretty sure the writer could use the help of Family Paws Parent Education, the parent organization of Dog & Storks and the Dog and Baby Connection.

According to its website, the group’s goal is “to increase the safety of children and the success of dogs in homes with children. We seek to decrease the number of dogs surrendered to shelters due to easily preventable behavioral problems and common conflicts.”

For anyone who has small children or is expecting, the site has some excellent resources for parents including a blog, webinars, and links to useful articles and websites.

Topics include preparing your dog for baby, dog and baby safety, dog and toddler safety,  tips for nursing moms, baby equipment and safety and more.

Preparation is definitely key for your pets when expecting. Our veterinarian gave us some great advice when we were expecting our first child that we are using again during this pregnancy:

• Before baby arrives, let your pets investigate all of the new baby equipment. Put a baby doll in the swing and start it up. Be sure to start establishing boundaries as well, for instance, no cats in the crib.

• When baby is born, bring home a blanket or clothing item for them to smell if possible. When bringing baby home, Dad should introduce baby after Mom greets all of the furry children empty handed.

• And once you are settled, try to include your animals as much as you can, give them a job. I started referring to my dogs as the Diaper Changing Committee, they would dutifully follow me to the nursery and stand guard every time. If only I could have taught them to actually change the diapers.

For more tips and information on integrating your furry children with your new human children, visit

- Lauren Cavagnolo, [email protected]


Dogs and kids?

posted August 14th, 2013 by
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I recently stumbled upon an article headlined “The One Thing No One Tells You Before You Have Kids: Don’t get a dog.” Since I am expecting my second child any day and share my home with 6 furry children, I clicked on the title intrigued and already a little put off.

And then I read this:

“It’s not that I don’t love my dog. It’s just that I don’t love my dog. And I am not alone. A very nonscientific survey of almost everyone I know who had a dog and then had kids now wishes they had never got the dog. This is a near universal truth, even for parents with just one child, though I have more.”

I cannot disagree more. And my very nonscientific survey of almost everyone I know who has pets and kids also disagrees.

The writer of the article sounds like someone who was unprepared for the realities of pet ownership and parenthood. Neither are easy and both are very messy and chaotic.

And it’s always been my understanding that love can only grow, as was the case when my husband and I welcomed home our baby (human) girl two years ago.

There was so much more love in our home it almost burst. The love of parents for their daughter and her love for us, the love (and protectiveness) our animals clearly felt for her and her love and delight in them.

As she gets older, that love and bond they have gets stronger. And seeing how my animals love her makes me love them even more! See? Our house is going to explode from all the love when the second one arrives!

Our pets not only have a third person paying attention to them, playing with them, and most importantly sneaking them food under the table, but they go on on just as many family outings as they ever have. Maybe even more.

It’s been a fun summer of camping, parks and the drive-in. I’ve found that most places that it is acceptable to bring a kid, you can also bring dogs. Not that I’m comparing the two or anything…

And I certainly can’t imagine depriving my child of all of the unique learning experiences that come with pets. They were some of her first friends and continue to be her best buddies.

She loves to let the boys out of their crates first thing in the morning and pour food in their dog bowls.

She puts the cat food bowls on the floor and calls all four cats to come eat by name.

And she has learned that she can tell our dogs to sit before giving them a treat.

I think all of that is pretty impressive for a not quite two-year-old.

And I truly believe that her love of the animals in our home has sparked a love and curiosity of all types of animals. She has picked up and kissed a few large bugs in our backyard that I won’t even touch.

Having kids and pets is a juggling act. I’m not perfect at it. I get frustrated with all of the ‘children’ in my home at some time or another. But stop loving them? Never!

-Lauren Cavagnolo, [email protected]

Babies with pets healthier

posted July 9th, 2012 by
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When I first found out I was pregnant, one of the things I worried about was how my other babies would react to the new one. You know, all of my dogs and cats.

Well baby arrived and as it turned out I had nothing to worry about. And now, there is even less to worry about for families with both furry and human babies living under the same roof.

A new study has found that babies who live with pets, especially dogs, are less likely to get sick in the first year.

According to the article:

“The study of nearly 400 children found that dogs were especially protective, and the babies who lived with dogs during their first year were about one-third more likely to be healthy during their first year, compared to babies who didn’t have a pet in the home.” 

You can read the complete article here.

So far, this checks out at my house. Two dogs, four cats, one baby and only one cold in 11 months. Works for me!

Previous research has also found that children who live with pets during their first year are less likely to develop allergies.

And for anyone who is expecting a (human) baby and already has (furry) babies, check out these tips on preparing and introducing your pets to a new baby.

-Lauren Cavagnolo