We all love our pets and children. However you cannot assume that all pets love babies. You need to be mindful of certain risks regarding the interactions between pets and babies. Sometimes a pet may try to play with a baby, but then end up hurting it instead.
In most cases, a dog or cat will not try to hurt an infant intentionally. However, there is always the chance of an accident happening. You need to take the proper precautions to ensure this does not occur.
Infants are delicate and fragile, so you must exercise caution when animals are around them. Below are seven tips on keeping an infant safe around family pets and unknown pets in public.
Use a Safe Stroller
Make sure your babies’ stroller offer some level of protection against a rogue dog if you are walking a pet park or neighbourhood. Look for strollers with seats that are positioned higher up off the ground. This will prevent a lot of common accidents with cats and smaller dogs.
Also, look for strollers with roof covers which conceal at least 50% of the baby’s body. The cover can serve as a shield to keep a rogue dog’s face away from the baby.
Understand the Temperament of the Pet
It is easy to understand the temperament of your pet because you spend a lot of time around it. But if you are “pet sitting” with an infant, make sure you know the animals’ temperament and avoid any risks.
Do not assume that someone else’s pet is going to act as your pet. Every animal has its personality and temperament, so you must learn more about the other animal before you pet sit. Then you can take the proper precautions where your infant is concerned.
Introduce a Baby Doll to Your Pet
Before your infant arrives, introduce a baby doll into your home. Train your pet to treat the toy properly by rewarding it for good behaviour and disciplining it for bad conduct. By the time your baby arrives, your pet will act friendlier around them.
If you can wrap your baby doll in used baby blankets, that will work even better. The baby scent on the blankets will help your pet get used to the baby before he or she arrives.
Spend Less Time with Your Pet
A new baby will take up more of your time. This might cause your pet to feel jealous because you are no longer giving it as much attention as you did before.
To prepare your pet for this new lifestyle, start spending less time with your pet before your baby arrives. Give them more freedom to roam around the backyard and be on their own. That way, they are not always dependent on you for attention.
Keep the Baby’s Room Closed Off
The best way to keep a baby safe is to close the door to their room if you leave them unattended. Do not take the chance of your dog or cat roaming into their room unsupervised because any number of accidents could happen.
If you are worried about hearing your baby cry, then install a baby monitor in their room. A baby monitor will allow you to listen to the baby from any other place in the house without any problems.
Always Watch the Baby Around Pets
Never leave your baby alone with a pet. Even if you think you can trust your pet, do not assume the pet will always do the right thing around your baby. Always pay close attention to your baby whenever any animal is around them.
If you have to leave the room, then separate the baby or the pet by bringing one of them into another room.
Muzzle the Pet
If your pet has an aggressive history or you are just not convinced that your pet will be good around your baby, then you will need to put a muzzle on the pet whenever the baby is around them.
While the muzzle is on the pet, watch how it interacts with the baby. Does it look aggressive or kind? This should let you know how safe it is to remove the muzzle.