Presentation on theme: "PET vs. BABY. Making the Proper Introductions Many experts recommend that before you even bring a baby home, you bring an article of her clothing, a blanket,"— Presentation transcript:
Making the Proper Introductions Many experts recommend that before you even bring a baby home, you bring an article of her clothing, a blanket, or even a soiled diaper of hers for your pet to sniff. An animal's sense of smell is vital, so this step can help your pet become familiar the newborn. When baby actually comes home, have mom go into the house alone first to greet the animal, since the pet is going to be very excited to see her. Or consider boarding the pet with a friend so you can get settled with the baby.
Rules for introducing cats to baby are simple: Because felines are unpredictable by nature, discourage yours from approaching your newborn. Allow her to observe the new family member from a distance.
Introducing a dog to your baby is more complicated: Have someone restrain the dog on a leash while you sit on a chair, holding baby on your lap and covering her head with a hand. (This shows your protectiveness of the new person in the house and also prevents your dog from nipping at baby's ears.) Do not place baby on the floor, and never hold baby over your dog's head, which encourages jumping. Talk to your dog in a calm and normal voice, petting and stroking him for reassurance. If he doesn't display any aggressive behavior, such as growling, hissing, pointing his ears back, or putting his tail down, you may slowly allow him to see and sniff -- but not lick -- your little one. Licking is unsanitary and may be a prelude to biting.
Introducing a dog to your baby is more complicated: Make sure the dog is held firmly on the leash and anticipate having to pull him back. If your dog displays any negative behavior whatsoever, say "no," and command him to back down or physically remove him from the room. If he retreats on his own, reward him. Even if all goes well, it's best to keep your dog on a leash any time he's around the baby for at least the first three weeks, during which time you can observe his behavior
What to Watch Out For: Cats and dogs are often jealous of their new housemate and can become aggressive toward your newborn baby. In both cats and dogs, be on a constant lookout for any of the following signs of aggression:
What to Watch Out For: Biting, nipping, pawing, growling Raised hair, pinned-back ears, or downward-pointing tail Neglecting to use the litter box, or marking or spraying of the house by cats Canine soiling accidents Slinkiness when the cat approaches baby Withdrawn behavior or refusal of food (both cats and dogs may do this)
Forging a Friendship After three weeks, if all has gone well: –Include your pet in your daily routine. Allow him to follow you around as you feed and change and otherwise care for baby. Continue to use the leash if necessary. –Give your pet as much attention and affection as possible when the baby is around. Slip your pet a favorite treat of his when you feed the baby, and take your dog along when going out for a stroll. –Supervise all contact between your pet and baby. Don't have them in the same room unless you are close enough to intervene if trouble arises.
Forging a Friendship As your baby begins to crawl and walk, maintain your vigilance. Your toddler will still have a lot to learn about how to treat an animal, and even the most gentle pet will bite or scratch when hurt. Your child will stagger and fall without notice, which may startle your pet and make him defensive. Keep your dog away from baby if your child is using a walker, exerciser, or jumper, which prop a young baby upright, often at a dog's eye level, which can be a challenge to the dog. Don't allow your baby and your pet to be in each other's company unattended for baby's first two years. As you train your pet to respect your baby, you will naturally want to teach your baby to respect the animal, too.
Toxoplasmosis, the hidden danger… Just like other family members, your pet cat can pass disease on to you. Most cats which are infected do not appear sick. The cat's feces contain the parasite for only two weeks after the cat is infected. However, the feces themselves may remain infectious for well over a year. Most cases of toxoplasmosis do not originate from contact with cats, but rather from consumption of raw meat.
Toxoplasmosis, the hidden danger… Here are some tips to help you continue to enjoy your pet cat: wash your hands after patting, brushing or being licked by your cat; clean out the litter box every day; dispose of cat feces in a plastic bag in the garbage; do not compost the cat litter, or dispose of the litter near your garden; see a veterinarian if there are any signs of illness in your cat; don't feed raw meat to your cat.
Toxoplasmosis, the hidden danger… Most people will recover from toxoplasmosis without treatment. However medication is available from your family doctor to treat the infection. Treatment may be needed if the eyes or heart are affected or if the infection occurs in persons with weak immune systems or long lasting diseases (e.g. AIDS or cancer).
Works Cited Dubey, JP, “Pet Health General Illnesses and disease”, www.avma.org/careforanimals/animatedjourneys/ pethealth/pethealth.asp, (Mar 29, 2004 ) Zintl, Amy, “Building a Relationship Between Pet and Baby”, http://www.americanbaby.com/ab/story.jhtml?storyid=/te mplatedata/ab/story/data/1241.xml, (Mar 29, 2004). http://www.americanbaby.com/ab/story.jhtml?storyid=/te mplatedata/ab/story/data/1241.xml