As a pet owner, you already know what it feels like to be a parent, but you’re probably wondering how pets and pregnancy mix. You remember the mess your dog made on that beautiful carpet? What about grooming your dog? What about the food? After you deliver, you’ll have twice that stuff.
From waking you up in the middle of the night to creating a bit of a mess, as a pet owner you’ve experienced it all. Your baby’s going to do all those things, plus a bunch more. Having pets in your house while pregnant can be confusing, if you don’t know what to do.
If you are pregnant, and have a pet and are wondering about the whole arrangement; then you’ve come to the right place. The good news is that you are not the only one who feels this way, even those supermoms you admire can feel that. Up next we’ve got some tips to help you with pets and pregnancy.
One of the most significant challenges most pet owners face, especially cat owners, is the issue of toxoplasmosis. This is a parasite that cats carry and also excrete in their feces. Whereas this condition might not be a danger to adults, it might be harmful to your unborn child or even to your newborn.
The fact that you have had your cat for a while means you are likely already immune, this might not be the case with the unborn child. Start with a blood test that will confirm your immunity. This will show whether or not you have antibodies to fight the parasite.
By all means, avoid touching soil; this is because the toxoplasmosis parasite can be found in soil and even in raw meat. Be sure to always wash your hands thoroughly clean with water and soap after getting in contact with raw meat and soil your cat may have gotten into.
Talk to your doctor and ask for advice for the duration of your pregnancy.
Prepare Ahead of Time
Prepare your kitty or pup for the arrival of their new “sibling.” There are lots of programs, such as the obedience training that you can register them for. And yes, cats can be trained too. If you have babies around, expose them to each other, and let your pets learn how to live with them.
The goal is for them to get used to their sounds, smells, and sleeping arrangement. Also, carve out a separate eating space-preferably one that is out of reach of children. You can make your pregnancy and delivery easy by taking precautions.
Another trick you might use is to introduce a baby doll to your pets. Carry it, sing for it and push it in a stroller so that your puppy gets used to the idea of baby care. However, don’t do this in public, you might attract unnecessary attention.
What to Do When the Baby Arrives
You have already done all the preparations, and finally, the little bundle of joy is here, have your partner bring the onesie that your baby wore at birth or in the hospital for your pet to sniff. This is a proven trick that works like magic.
Keep in mind that a new baby is a big deal for pets and so be mindful of their feelings too. Just because your baby is here doesn’t mean you ignore your pets. You’ve got to keep a happy balance for everyone so there is no animosity.
You can also alternate with your partner between playing with the pet and taking care of the little one. Here is the most crucial tip, never be tempted to leave your baby or even a toddler alone with your pet. Even those canines that seem gentle can be unpredictable at times if left alone.
As long as you can give everyone the attention they need, you should be able to move forward happily. And just take it a day at a time, this is a big adjustment for two-legged folks as well as for four-legged ones.