Is your baby safe around pets? Expert tips to build a bond between them

Published on Jul 28, 2022 09:29 PM IST

After a tough period of initial adjustment, it is probably a good idea to let your baby play with your pet after two or three months depending on the advice of your paediatrician.

While our pets usually become very loving and protective siblings, initially the baby is a subject of great curiosity and mystery to the pet(Pixabay)
While our pets usually become very loving and protective siblings, initially the baby is a subject of great curiosity and mystery to the pet(Pixabay)
By, Delhi

A new addition to your family can make your pet feel neglected as they miss you being around. After a tough period of initial adjustment, it is probably a good idea to let your baby play with your pet after two or three months depending on the advice of your paediatrician. A newborn must be kept away from a dog or cat for the first few months simply because their fur may get into the baby's nose or mouth or they may need a little time to get used to be around a baby. (Also read: Pet health: Is your dog yelping in pain? It could be arthritis; know symptoms)

"A good bond between a toddler and a pet is one of the sweetest sights you can ever see. The journey of building this bond though is one that must be approached with an immense amount of care and precaution. While our pets usually become very loving and protective siblings, initially the baby is a subject of great curiosity and mystery to the pet," says Devanshi Shah, Founder & CEO – PetKonnect.

Most paediatricians will advise that pets be kept away from babies for at least a period of 2-3 months.

"There are many reasons for this, such as the pets fur getting into the baby's nose or mouth, the pet barking loudly at the little one, the pet unintentionally running into the newborn given great excitement, or even running towards a toy or the doorbell. All of the above can lead to severe problems or unintended injuries to the baby," says Shah.

Initially, Shah advises, the parent must hold the baby while being introduced to the pet. However, this step is important to build an initial bond that will be slowly nurtured with time. It is not advisable to completely cut off pet from the little one as this could possibly lead to animosity. Little doses of interaction can build a solid foundation of this adorable bond.

"Once the toddler reaches an age of about 3 months, then the two can be introduced by placing the toddler on a floor mat. Even then, all interactions must by closely supervised by the parent to avoid any unwanted accidents. This protocol must be followed till the toddler is about two years old," says Shah.

"What is very important to consider is the nature of your pet and how they react to the toddler. If your pet is very friendly by nature, then you may follow the above advice. In the case your pet is known to be aggressive, known to bite or scratch, then professional advice from a vet is a must and you may even consider bringing in a professional animal trainer," adds the expert.

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