For Immediate Release:
September 6, 2022
Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382
Norfolk, Va. – How do I introduce my dog to my new baby? How do I make sure my dog feels loved when I bring my new baby home? These are the top two questions PETA hears from expecting parents, so in a new video released today, PETA staffer Moira Colley shares how she successfully introduced her newborn, Violet, to her adopted dogs, Cashew and Teddy—and now, the trio have bonded. Teddy even considers himself Violet’s protector and rushes to alert Colley and her partner, Sam, every time Violet cries.
More photos of the Colley family are available here.
Colley’s top tips include the following.
- Start early: Before she’d even given birth, Colley played recordings of babies crying and took Cashew and Teddy to the park to acclimate them to kids.
- Encourage smelling: Once Colley brought Violet home, she encouraged the dogs to sniff the baby’s hospital blanket.
- Provide quality time: Colley made sure the dogs didn’t feel neglected or replaced when Violet arrived—she kept them to the routine they were used to (as best she could!) and carved out one-on-one time to spend with them so they knew they were still safe, loved, and prioritized.
- Give personal space: Colley arranged a special space in the house for Violet to play away from the dogs.
- Allow a two-way street: Colley is now helping Violet practice her petting technique on stuffed animals so she learns to be gentle.
Colley says that maintaining a consistent schedule, a positive outlook, and a self-assured demeanor—since both babies and dogs take their cues on how to feel from us—were the keys to the successful integration. Now, she proudly reports that Violet, Teddy, and Cashew are tightly bonded, and Teddy (the more protective of the pair) always chooses to sit next to Violet, give her endless kisses, and keep guard over her bassinet. Additional tips on ways to introduce animal companions to babies are available here.
“Because of Teddy and Cashew, Violet is going to grow up with a love, respect, and deep appreciation for animals,” Colley says in the video. “Our hope is that as she gets older, this relationship they built will inspire her to advocate for animals just like her mom.”
Colley adopted Cashew and Teddy in 2017 after the bonded pair was left at a shelter by a puppy mill owner who deemed them “unsellable” because they suffered from hip dysplasia and alopecia, respectively.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information on PETA’s newsgathering and reporting, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.