Children and pets are a “mixture”, relations between which nobody can predict. Many parents, who have pets in their house, with the birth of the newborn or even during pregnancy, begin to think about the safety of their cohabitation. Some of them even get rid of their beloved cat or dog before the birth of the baby.
Undoubtedly, lovely pets bring to children not only joy but also some benefits. They teach them to kindness and responsibility. But when a family wholeheartedly expects the appearance of a newborn, it is better to postpone having an animal until the baby grows up. But what if your favorite cat or dog lives with you for a long time?
“You Are Responsible For Those, Who Are Tamed By You”
Let us start with the fact that a cat or dog – is also your “child” you have tamed. The appearance of a newborn in the house can cause jealousy in your pet. Now we are not talking about turtles or fish. The jealousy can be manifested in the most unexpected way. For example, a cat that always went regularly to its tray suddenly starts to leave heaps around the house. And even worse, the cat begins to attack a small child. In this situation, your task is to show the animal that your child is your child. It is forbidden to hurt, scratch, bite a baby, jump into his bed, lick his soother, and so on.
Do not ignore your pet in any case, and especially do not scold it. Your pet will feel that your attitude towards him has changed for the worse after the emergence of a new member of the family. It is necessary to show the pet by your actions that you still love him.
When the child will grow up and start to crawl, you should watch closely so that the baby does not cause a pet’s aggression, pulling its tail or waving handles next to it. If two of them cannot find a common language, it is better to stop their communication for a while. Try to explain to your child that it is bad to torment animals. After all, children up to a year are too small to understand it.
In addition, while animals and babies are sharing accommodation, you need to take into account some points.
Children and Pets. The Rules that must be Respected
- Take your animal to a veterinarian. Your pet need to get the necessary vaccination and the prevention of worms. In the future, carry out this procedure regularly under the veterinarian’s supervision;
- Observe the rules of hygiene. Remember that animals are potential sources and carriers of infectious diseases;
- Always wash your hands after the contact with your pet;
- Avoid the contact of animal with baby’s toys and things. If this happened, clean them of dirt and wool. Do not let the pet to lick, sniff and touch the child. While the child is small, he cannot fully feel all the joy of communicating with animals, but he can catch an infection instead. In the room where the child spends most of the time sleeping or playing, do not put the cage with birds, dog and cat houses, aquariums;
- More carefully watch over the purity of the house. Wet cleaning should be done every day. If there is a need – do it more often. Ventilate the room several times a day. It is desirable to eliminate the peculiar smell of the animal in the room to reduce the risk of allergic reactions;
- Never leave a small child alone with an animal. This is a potentially traumatic situation, because, again, the behavior of both is unpredictable. Child can frighten an animal or hurt it with sudden cry or involuntary movements. Defending, the animal may bite or scratch the baby. In addition, an animal, a cat usually, can lie down with the sleeping baby in such a way that it will cause a baby’s suffocation.
To have or not to have an animal in the house – everyone decides by himself. But you should approach the adoption of this important decision with careful consideration, taking into account all the positive and negative aspects.
Born in Belarus, 1985, a pedagogue and family psychologist, mother. Taking part in procedures of social adaptation of the foster children in new families. Since 2015 is a chief editor of the motherhow.com project, selecting the best and up-to-date material for those, who are planning, expecting, and already having babies.