Many of us think of our pets as part of the family. Pets can bring so much fun and joy to a home. But when you’re pregnant, not all pets are OK to be around. Pregnant pet owners have to be careful about the kinds of animals they keep in their home and know how to handle and care for them safely.
Is it safe to have dogs when you’re pregnant?
For the most part, there’s no reason your dog can’t be part of the family when you’re pregnant. But take these steps to help keep yourself safe during pregnancy:
- Don’t let your dog jump up on your belly.
- If your dog has bad habits, like biting or jumping, train him to stop doing these things before you have your baby.
- Make sure your dog is up-to-date with vaccinations. Do this before your baby is born.
- If you and your dog are especially close, ask your partner or a family member to spend more time with him. Because your baby will take much of your time and attention, having your dog develop relationships with others can help prepare him for changes to come once your baby is home.
Is it safe for pregnant pet owners to have cats?
Pregnant women need to be careful of toxoplasmosis when handling their cat. This is an infection often carried by cats that’s caused by a parasite. Cats pass this parasite in their feces (poop), and you can get it by cleaning kitty litter or touching dirt, like garden soil, where cats may have been. You also can get toxoplasmosis from eating undercooked meat, especially pork, lamb or deer meat.
If you have a cat, use these tips to help keep you safe from toxoplasmosis:
- Ask a family member who isn’t pregnant to clean out the litter box every day.
- Keep your cat inside.
- Stay away from stray cats.
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after touching cat poop or after gardening.
- If you have a sandbox, cover it to stop cats from using it as a litter.
- Don’t feed your cat undercooked meat.