It is no coincidence that many babies are confronted with pets, because almost every second household in Austria has a pet. Pets can be lovely playmates for your child, but they can also be dangerous. So there are a few things you should pay attention to.
Babies and four-legged friends in general
As a rule, pets are very tolerant of newborns. Nevertheless, there are some dangers that should not be ignored. When babies are small, it is usually easy to keep them away from pets. One should make sure that the pet does not come into the room where your baby sleeps. It usually becomes dangerous when the babies start to become active and move around freely at home.
Also, if you have pets at home, make sure you position the food bowl or litter box so that you can keep the baby away from it. However, there is basically no risk of your baby getting an illness from your pet. However, it is important to ensure that your pet has received the required vaccinations and that you take care of it.
A pet for the offspring
Pets such as guinea pigs or rabbits are more suitable for small children. These animals live in a cage and you can also create a place for them in the garden. The children can then play with the pet under supervision. This is how your child learns to respect animals. If your offspring is a bit older and has understood that animals are not toys, you can also get a cat or a dog.
If you don’t have a pet yet, you should think twice about getting a playmate for your bundle of joy. There are a few things to keep in mind:
- Is the care and education of the pet feasible alongside the care and education of the toddler?
- Is it possible to leave the animal with someone when you travel?
- Do we have enough space at home to keep a four-legged friend?
- For whom exactly and for what reasons should the animal be purchased?
Baby as competition for the four-legged friend
If there is already an animal in the house, you should consider other things. Cats are usually a bit easier to keep than dogs. Most cats will run away when teased by a child. But it can also happen that the cat scratches or bites the child. With dogs it is often the case that the animal develops a protective instinct towards the small child. But that doesn’t mean you can leave a dog alone with a baby. The animal must always be observed when children or babies are around, because even the most patient dog can get angry.
A problem usually arises when the dog, which was first lovingly cared for, feels neglected. This can happen if the baby steals the toy that it considers its own, or if the dog suddenly has less freedom than before the baby arrived. If you want to prevent the dog from entering the newborn’s room, you can of course simply close the door. However, it would be better to get your four-legged friend used to it by practicing “staying outside” before the baby arrives. If you’ve previously had a somewhat loose upbringing with your pet, you can’t just switch to more strict methods. The four-legged friend needs some time to get used to it.
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