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Could Pets be a Risk for Babies?

August 17th, 2019

  

Sometimes pregnant couples ask themselves if their pets will offer any risks for their future baby.  There are some myths that tell that pets can transmit diseases, cause allergies for a baby’s health and that their presence should be avoided. This blog intends to dispel some of these myths and bring information for future parents and pet owners about the relationship between babies and pets.

      There are studies stating that babies and little children that live together with pets are less prone to get sick, if compared with babies and children that don’t live in a house with a pet. Although there isn’t still a certain reason why the presence of a pet helps a child’s immune system,  a study conducted in Finland examined the fact that babies and children who live in a house with a pet had less respiratory diseases. This study suggested that the presence of a pet pushes the development of the child’s immune system in the baby’s first year.

     If you’re pregnant, it’s important to plan ahead of time your return from the hospital. It’s advisable that you arrive home and greet your pet, so that he doesn’t feel jealous, since he/she was the center of your attention before the birth of your baby. You can do this by asking a relative to walk your dog while you get inside your home to avoid any source of stress. Doing so, you’ll be able to accommodate your baby and also greet your furry friend calmly …

     As dogs are curious creatures, it’s hard to predict how they will react in the presence of a baby. However, an important step to take to introduce your baby and your pet is to give him/her  one of  your baby’s clothes, so that he/ she can get used with the new smell. When both your baby and your furry friend seem to be calm, you can allow your pet to smell your baby’s feet. You’ll also need to take precautions not to allow your pet alone in your baby’s room, specially if you have a big furry friend. You will also need to supervise their interactions, if they stay close in the couch or in a bed.

     When your baby starts crawling, it’s necessary to be vigilant, as some babies can push the pet’s tail, attempt to open the dog’s mouth or push the nose, etc. Doing so, you’ll assure that both your baby and your friend are having fun in a safe way.

        A baby’s birth is a blessing that brings joy for the whole family. If you follow some tips and include your furry friend in the process, you’ll have a smooth transition and your family will adjust easily to the new member!