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Should I Have a Pet Around my Newborn Baby?

Monday, 11 Oct 2010 02:24 PM

Is it safe to have pets around newborn babies?  This is a common concern of parents with pets at home. In most cases, it has been observed that the pet and the new baby in the family get along quite well without creating any serious issues. It is rare to see pets and babies not bonding well. For instance, dogs of any breed love to be around newborn babies. 
However, it is wise to have some knowledge and take precautions before allowing your pet to be around your new baby. As you prepare your newborn baby checklist, make sure you include the need to talk to your vet about how your particular breed of pet will react with your newborn. You can also talk to your friends who have had pets and newborns together in their house, and learn from their experiences.

You must keep an eye on both pets and babies. Never take the risk of leaving your pet and new baby alone. Cats generally react well with newborn babies, but still you need to watch carefully when your cat is around your new baby. Your cat may tend to snuggle up in your baby’s bed; so make sure you buy a comfortable bed for your pet even before your baby arrives.

Here are a few important points to consider before you introduce the newborn to a pet:
  • If you have a pet around a newborn baby, ensure that the pet has been vaccinated as advised by your vet; this will decrease the chance of your baby getting any illness or infection from the pet.
  • Discourage your pet from sleeping on the baby’s blankets.  
  • Sometimes, your cat may bring mice or birds into the house; remove them immediately, and don’t let your  new baby come in contact with them.
  • Introduce your newborn to your pet and make sure that they both develop a good bond.
  • Some dogs or cats may get jealous with the new addition of a newborn. To avoid this situation, make sure to spend at least some time with your pet each day.
  • Teach your pet to be gentle, and not to jump up or nibble.
  • Never overreact if you see your dog smelling your baby’s blankets, clothes, or diapers. This helps your dog get used to the smell of the new baby.
You can have a pet and a newborn baby together. However, creating a bond between your pet and the new baby is a must. It is up to you as to how well you perform this job.

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