Many expectant parents wonder if they will need to get rid of their pets because of a pregnancy. While there are some measures and precautions you will need to take to ensure the safety of your little one, there is no real need to find your pet a new home.
By working with your pet before the baby is due to arrive, you can lessen your pets sense of jealousy or betrayal. A new baby will demand most of your time and attention. While your pet still needs to have your love and attention, it is wise to decrease the amount of time you spend with them. Give your pet some extra outdoor time or find another activity that your pet can do. Many pet specialists suggest purchasing a baby doll before the baby is born and treating the baby as you would your own child. Put the doll in the swing, bouncy seat and hold it so that your pet can become familiar with a baby in the home. Play recordings of a crying baby so that the animal becomes accustomed to the noise that will frequent the home after the baby's birth. Consider sprinkling baby powder on your skin so that your pet can become familiar with the scent of a baby.
Of course, you will want to make sure that your pet is current on all of their vaccinations before the baby arrives home. Schedule a visit to the vet for an exam and make sure your pet is spayed or neutered. Pets that are "fixed" are usually calmer and less likely to bite. Consider having your cat declawed to minimize the chances of your baby getting scratched. Make sure that your dog's nails are kept neatly trimmed as well.
Many families choose to make the baby's room off-limits to the pets in the home. This is often the case when a cat is present, because of the fear of the cat suffocating the infant while sleeping. You can do this by installing a baby gate or a screen door which would keep a cat out. Your pet will not feel left out because they can still hear and see what is going on in the room.
Cats raise a red flag during pregnancy because of the risk of toxoplasmosis, which can cause serious birth defects. Toxoplasmosis can be avoided by washing your hands thoroughly after being around your cat, not changing the litter box and wearing gloves while gardening. If you have to change the litter box, wear rubber gloves, a mask and wash your hands well when you are finished.
Once you have delivered the baby and are home from the hospital, make sure to love on your animal and make them feel special. They have probably missed you while you were gone. Show the animal the new baby and reward with a treat for positive behavior. If your pet was trained with words, use the words she knows that describe being gentle and easy.If your pet's behavior concerns you, speak to the vet for suggestions. You may also seek the help of a animal behavior specialist or enroll your pet in an obedience class. Obedience classes help to train your pet. If your pet has bitten or attacked a child that has visited your home, it might be best to find the animal a new home. If at any time, your pet growls or attempts to bite your child, it is a good idea to find the animal a new home.
Your child and your pet will become familiar with each other in no time at all. Many children that grow up with pets in the home find special friendships in their animals and develop strong bonds with them.
Comments: Pets and Infants
Comments 1 to 10 of about 10.
meganjean - 660 days ago.
I have 2 cats and have heard that they love the smell of a baby and will actually try laying on them cause they are warm and have suffocated babies before so I am kinda worried about that. Has anyone had a problem with their cats trying to lay on their baby? I know its a silly question but my one cat is very large!
Bri - 1109 days ago.
LucyComiskey - I have three cats. Two things. First, if you've been around a lot of outdoor animals in your life you probably have an immunity to it. Second, if your cats are strickly indoor cats then they probably don't have it and won't pick it up. Also, it is passed through their feces. So, if you don't change the box then you are at a very low risk....like nothing. If you have to change the box then just wear gloves and wash very well afterwards. I did my own box the entire time for both my pregnancies. I would be more concerned about worms. While I was pregnant with my first I had all three dewormed. They weren't tested but I got the meds anyways because worms can cause blindness in infants. How awful is that? It was really easy. Just a spoonful of meds for a couple of days. Honestly, the cats are the least of your worry. Congrats on your pregnancy!
Beautiful Bre - 1442 days ago.
we have had dogs since my boy came home from the hospital i never once freaked out about washing my hands after touching my dog. but then again i dont touch the dog much. we had two dogs. they both adjusted well to him. since he learned to stand up though the one isnt a huge fan of him since he would try and pull himself up using her. so now she runs away because he is almost 21 months and pulls the ears and things for fun! my husband has 6 hounds and my boy loves them. there are two that do excellent with him. better then a house dog would. its amazing!! but i think it helps with allergies and their immune system a bunch. my kid hasnt been sick nearly as much as some around here who get washed 24/7
judi - 1442 days ago.
I've heard that you should allow a dog to lick the feet of a newborn, to decrease the chances of allergic reactions in your baby. I think that's silly, but raising a child with pets surely is good for them, in terms of allergies, but especially because they learn empathy and social skills by relating to a pet. The cat runs away if they're not gentle, so they learn that they have to be careful. Babies are just fascinated by animals, too - must be good for them!
kym22 - 1442 days ago.
I don't wash my hand after petting my pup. And Maharra (my german shepherd) loves to lick Tryn, my LO. I just let it be.
gladek - 1443 days ago.
I have three dogs and two cats, and if I washed my hands after touching them, my hands would fall off! My LO is seven months, and hasn't been sick yet, and I've caught him sucking on the cat's tail before :-)
Military~mommy - 1443 days ago.
My daughter loves our rotweiler! We had a terrier as well, but when we brought Evie home the rottweiler adjusted, the terrier did not. After the little dog bit me, she went to find a new home. I keep hand sanitiser around the house, and use it frequently, but once my DD was old enough to chase the dog, and feed her food from the high chair, I figured washing every time I touched the dog wasn't going to matter. I do agree with Bri, lots and lots of vacuuming, I recomend Dyson!
Bri - 1443 days ago.
Personally I would be washing all day long if I did. I wash after handling the chinchillas or turtle especially. Turtles can contain samonella but my old man has been in captivity his whole life and he's nearly 15 years old now. I doubt he does but I would rather be safe then sorry. I have three persian cats that think they own the house. They sleep where they want and honestly once baby gets a bit bigger they'll after the animals in no time. I wash after changing the liter or if heaven forbid they threw up or something like that but not after just sitting on the couch petting them. I do recommend vacuuming often but that's about it. I was never one of those that MADE everyone wash before holding Kekoa and I won't with this next one either. I'm not saying some stranger can come up and touch my child but people I know don't have to. I trust that they wash after using the bathroom and such so I don't worry. My son is 19months and wild. He loves the cats and he has no allergies towards them. Oh and just a simple fact. Babies that are brought home to animals have a less likilhood of being allergic later on in life. I don't know if that's because the parents aren't or that the exposure is good for them...
gladek - 1631 days ago.
Just wanted to say I have thee dogs (all older) and two year old cats, and have had no issues after bringing baby home two weeks ago. It took time and training and patience (keeping the cats out of the baby's room, teaching dogs not to jump for the last several months, etc. It takes a commitment to work with them, but its worth it !
traciemac - 1653 days ago.
My baby is a month old now and we have a 4 month old puppy Pug /boston terrier mx and he is great with the baby. i think having them both young has been so great plus we could train him because i am a stay at home mom for now.
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