Pets are like children in many ways, and you don’t want to get rid of one to welcome new additions to the family. Most animals are tolerant of kids and won’t harm a hair on their head, but it’s vital to be aware of the dangers. That way, you can minimise the risks and limit the damage should the worst happen.

Cases of dog attacks on young children are rare in the UK, yet they do happen. You never know what the relationship is going to be like when introducing a pet to a newborn, which is why you should follow these four steps.

Never Leave Them Alone

Dogs, in particular, are curious animals and they will investigate. Whether it’s with a small nip that doesn’t break the skin or a lick, a newborn is susceptible. Obviously, a bite hurts, and the myth that dogs’ mouths are cleaner than humans is just that – a myth. They can quickly transfer bacteria that a tiny baby isn’t equipped to deal with yet and pass on an illness. Although, Barking Heads can prevent this with their healthy recipes. Still, the main point to keep in mind is that they are unpredictable, and, as such, you should never leave them alone in a room until both are better acquainted.

Don’t Leave Your Baby In Harm’s Way

When you have a pet, a place might seem safe, yet it’s got the potential to harm. The floor is a prime example. After changing nappies and watching them kick their feet, parents let their newborns have fun on a changing mat on the floor. However, this is in the direct territory of your pet. A big dog can easily step on your child without meaning to hurt them. Still, even if it’s accidental, a weighty golden retriever can do a lot of damage. The floor is your pet’s domain, so keep your newborn off the carpet for now.

Teach Pets To Stay Off The Furniture

On the flip side, the furniture is where you and your baby play or chill and relax. As such, it’s a no-go-zone for pets. Not only do they get excited and throw their weight around, but they drool all over the sofa and leave hair everywhere and it’s unhygienic. Some pets are harder to train than others, cats, for example, but pooches get the message pretty quickly. All you need to do is tell them to get off the furniture as soon as they jump up. Then, they’ll think twice about doing it full stop.

Make Your Child Understand

As they get older, kids love to annoy pets and poke them in the eye and pull their tail. For the most part, the animal will turn the other cheek and wander off to a safe place. However, if provoked, it might bite back and retaliate. So, it’s essential to teach your child the etiquette of owning a pet as they get older. Toddlers that understand the dos and don’ts are less likely to be involved in an incident because they won’t give their pet a reason to lash out.

Yes, you can introduce a pet to a newborn baby, but you should always take precautions.