(NEW YORK) — Before Simon Cowell welcomed his new baby boy, Eric, earlier this month, he was a parent of a different kind.
The music mogul already had two dogs, Squiddly and Diddly.
Edward Alava, a pet trainer and owner of The Dog Store in Manhattan, counts Cowell among his clients, who also include dog trainer Cesar Millan and Real Housewives of New York star Sonja Morgan.
Alava’s specialty is helping pet owners introduce babies to the dogs that were the owners’ babies first.
“When a baby comes there are all kinds of commotions in the house,” Alava said. “It’s always important to keep the dog involved — whether it’s taking him for extra walks in the park, getting them groomed extra.”
To avoid upsetting the dog in the house, Alava suggests that owners take the baby’s blanket and put it inside the dog’s bed so the dog can smell the scent.
“It’s always good for the dogs to know what is about to arrive,” he noted.
That’s just what Adam and Mary French did when their son, Robinson, met their Yorkie, Lexington.
“For the first 30 minutes he was confused, heard cries and growled, barked, but after we got him closer and picked up the scent he really calmed down,” Mary French said.
Alava said the most important thing was not to forget about the dog.
“Just always remember that he was there first,” Alava said, adding: “Make it fun for the dog.”
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio
Jacqueline Howard, CNN
Susan Scutti, CNN
Julie Wootton, Times-News