How to Care for a Pet When You’re Pregnant

Expecting a little bundle of joy might be one of the most exciting times in your life. As a result, you might be eager to prep your home for your newborn’s arrival.

However, if you own a dog, cat, or another animal, you must focus on creating a safe environment for you and your baby before decorating a nursery or choosing strollers.

While your pet likely brings much fun and enjoyment into your home, they may come with various risks during pregnancy, which you must protect yourself and your baby from each day. Find out how to care for a pet when you’re pregnant.

Visit a Vet

The first thing you must do is take your pet along to a veterinary clinic to review their health. A qualified vet will check that your dog, cat, or another animal’s vaccinations, flea, and worming treatments are up to date. By doing so, your pet will be unable to accidentally pass on parasites to you and your newborn. While you might want to avoid the added cost of veterinary care when pregnant, you can visit this Manvel vets for affordable services and wellness plans to care for your pet’s health.

Don’t Clean Cat Litter Trays

Pregnant women must avoid cleaning a cat’s litter tray to prevent a Toxoplasmosis infection. In most cases, the infection isn’t dangerous unless you catch it for the first time while pregnant or close to pregnancy.

If you develop the infection, don’t panic, as toxoplasmosis often isn’t passed onto a baby, but it can increase your risk factor while pregnant. If you must clean a litter tray, wear a pair of fresh gloves and wash your hands thoroughly.

Seek Medical Treatment for Bites

If you sustain a bite from a dog or wild animal when pregnant, you must seek immediate medical attention. As rabies can spread from the saliva of an animal that has the virus, don’t hesitate to visit a healthcare provider for a rabies shot as soon as possible. The shot will stop the virus before symptoms start, and it is safe for pregnant women and breastfeeding moms.

Wash Your Hands After Handling Any Animal

It is essential that you wash your hands after handling any animal, as they could carry a zoonotic disease that’s harmful to you and your baby. For example, turtles and snakes can carry salmonella. On the safe side, avoid picking up wild animals, as they are unpredictable and carry many germs that can make humans sick.

Prepare a Pet for a New Baby

Your newborn’s health and safety will be your main priority. Keep them safe and secure in the home by preparing your pet for their arrival. For example, give your pet time to become familiar with the baby-free room they’ll spend time in before your little one arrives in the world.

Also, before bringing home your bundle of joy, ask your partner or a loved one to take home a blanket or item of clothing with your baby’s scent. Ensure you provide your pet with plenty of love and affection once you bring your baby home, too. Remember, never leave your newborn unsupervised with an animal.

— Featured photo by Flickr user mxmstryo