Cats and dogs can become stressed and unhappy when a new baby arrives in the home, which can cause problems for you and the baby. We often say it is jealousy, but scientists tell us that animals don't get jealous, as that is a human emotion. Dogs that show unrest because of the new arrival often feel threatened. Attacks are rare, but where it does occur it is usually because of either mixed signals, hunter instincts and or a defensive reaction. Cats usually withdraw in to a quiet area or the exact opposite and will mark their territory even very close to the baby.
Ideally pets should be prepared while you are still pregnant, by training them to only be in certain rooms. As with older siblings who may feel neglected when the baby arrives, so too will your pets. They need routine, so try not to alter it drastically. You will probably have less time to spend with your pets, but it is important that you are able to have some quality time with them if that is what they are use to.
Your pet may want to get close to the baby. This must be avoided at all times, especially if there is not an adult in the room. Even if your cat and dog are known to be passive, their reaction to the baby can be unpredictable. Do not let your pets lick your baby's face
An American study found that 28% of children with cats in the household developed eczema in comparison to 18% in households without cats at 1 year. However children with two or more dogs in the house had a slightly increased protection against developing eczema or other allergies.
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