What is the next big thing to watching cute baby videos? Well, watching babies and their pets interaction of course. The internet in recent years has seen a boom of videos featuring babies cuddling with their pets or playing with them.
While the ‘awws’ are only natural, the fact that some of these actions could be potentially dangerous can’t be negated. Expecting your pets to be patient and tolerant even while your little one is poking or pinching them is a terrible mistake.
Pets, if aggravated, will retaliate by biting or hitting your baby.
To avoid such a situation, it is essential to take proper precautions to create a healthy and safe environment for your baby and your pet to interact and play.
Things to Keep in Mind to Keep Both Your Baby and Pet Safe at Home
Read on as we list down the top 8 pet safety rules that you need to follow to ensure your baby’s safety around your pet.
#1 Take Your Pet to the Veterinarian for a Full Checkup
One of the biggest anxieties that couples with pets face is the fear of diseases. Many are scared of the possibility of their child contracting diseases from their pets. To avoid such a situation, it is best to have your pet checked by the veterinarian. A full health check-up will ensure that your pet is healthy and safe and that having a baby around won’t be a problem.
#2 Do Not Leave Your Baby and Pet Together Unattended
We live in a fast world and our lifestyle mimics that. Other than taking care of your baby, you could have many other responsibilities that need your attention. However, leaving your baby unattended with a pet can prove dangerous. A simple form of affection like hugging or cuddling could be seen as a sign of aggression by your pet. Infant behaviour like squealing could irritate them too. Watch out for any unusual action or movement, that could indicate that your pet is not comfortable with your baby.
#3 Give Equal Attention to Your Pet
Couples with pets often treat their pets as their first child. They receive a major share of love and affection and are the rulers of the household. However, things change considerably when a baby is brought into the equation. It is natural for parents to focus on their baby’s health and safety. This division of attention is, however, not always taken kindly by your pets. Pets might feel jealous of your tiny one when they see you fawning over your child. To ensure a happy balance, it is important for you to treat your pet the same way as you did earlier. Do not forget to give them some special attention whenever you can, so that they know you still care about them.
#4 Keep Your Baby off the Ground When Your Pet Is Around
Having your baby crawling on the floor while your pet is around is a deadly cocktail. Don’t put your baby on the floor, till your dog is safely outside. A frightened or startled pet could have an aggressive reaction towards your baby. Supervise your baby at all times, even if they crawl and wander over to the other rooms.
#5 Keep Your Baby Away From Your Pet If They Are Sleeping
Pets, just like human beings, can be startled if they are disturbed while sleeping. As mentioned above, any unexpected action could be seen as a form of aggression by your pet, to which they are most likely to retaliate. Ensure a safe and peaceful place for your pet to relax and sleep, without any kind of disturbance.
#6 Teach Your Child to Respect Your Pet
We often see babies playing with their pets by hitting them or poking them repeatedly. While these actions amuse your child to no end, your pet may not tolerate it for too long. As a parent, it is your duty to teach your child to respect your pet and treat them with kindness. Supervise your child’s interaction with your pet and teach them what is right and what is wrong. Playing an active role in developing your child’s relationship with your pet will help you in the long run.
#7 Keep Your Pets Away From Chaos
Before you could enjoy a calm moment with your baby, there is a very good chance you will be ambushed by friends and family. With friends and family coming over in hoards, it is going to be a chaotic time for you. Putting your pet in the middle of all this is certainly not a good idea. Pets tend to get over excited with all the chaos and commotion around them, which in turn makes them jumpy around the baby. Try to keep all contact between your baby and pet as calm as possible.
#8 Don’t Force to Create a Relationship Between Your Baby and Your Pet
While rare, it is possible for infants to stay away from any interaction with your pet. The same could be said about your pet, who may prefer to stay away from your tiny tot. Though rare, this behaviour should not be considered as something negative. If they prefer to ignore each other, that is fine. Don’t force them to interact with each other.
While these steps are important, there are certainly other things that need to be considered for creating a safe environment for your baby and your pet. Teach your pet about things that are acceptable and things that they should be avoided while they are around the baby. Constant practice will help them to know that there are certain things they need to avoid while they are around your baby. Enroll a trainer’s help if required.
What was your pet’s reaction to your tiny tot? Do let us know in the comments section.