AR-News: (US) 8 Basic Guidelines on Pet Safety

Animalara2003 at Animalara2003 at
Sun Dec 7 19:31:54 EST 2003

By Amy Zintl

Are you sure it's safe for your pet to be around your baby?

Many of the rules about pets and babies seem like simple common sense, but 
mistakes happen all too often. Here are guidelines for a safe and healthy 
1. Don't forget to take your pet to the veterinarian for a complete checkup. 
Remember that a healthy pet is a safer pet. Have yours dewormed and 
vaccinated. A grooming, nail trim, and flea bath are also good ideas.
2. Don't assume that you can skip normal safety precautions. Just because 
your pet is a breed that has a reputation for being "good with kids" doesn't mean 
that precautions can be ignored. An animal's training and individual 
temperament are more important than its breed.
3. Don't have your pet around when company visits. All the commotion caused 
by visiting grandparents, friends, and other people can overexcite the pet, 
which in turn may make him jumpy around baby. Keep all contact between your pet 
and your child calm and controlled.
4. Don't allow pet and baby to sleep in the same room unattended. You should 
supervise your baby's interaction with your pet at all times.
5. Don't allow your pet on the couch while you are holding baby. This makes 
dogs bigger and taller in relation to your infant and may encourage aggression.
6. Don't assume that a muzzle will solve all your safety problems. Though 
your dog can't bite while muzzled, he can still swat your little one with his 
paw, for instance, if they don't get along.
7. Don't try to force a relationship between your pet and your child. If they 
prefer to ignore each other, that's fine.
8. Don't forget to prepare and watch with second babies. Even if everything 
went well the first time around, your pet will be older now, possibly arthritic 
or sick. And you will have even less time to spend with him, which can make 
him resentful.
The information on this Web site is designed for educational purposes only. 
It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You 
should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or 
illnesses without consulting your pediatrician or family doctor. Please consult 
a doctor with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your or your 
child's condition.

"Until we have the courage to recognize cruelty for what it is, whether its 
victim is human or animal, we cannot expect things to be much better in this 
world, we cannot have peace among men whose hearts delight in killing any living 
creature.  By every act that glorifies or even tolerates such moronic delight 
in killing we set back the progress of humanity." Rachel Carson
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