Introducing Baby to the Family Pet

Pet Dangers

Infection Protection

Although it rarely happens, pets can pass along diseases like rabies, cat scratch disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and ringworm. Take these precautions to keep your kids safe.

  • Make sure your pet gets regular checkups at the vet, and treat issues like worms or fleas right away.
  • Check outdoor pets for ticks, which can carry Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
  • Be extra careful to wash your baby's hands after she's touched any domestic animal.
  • Don't let your pet lick your little one's face, hands, or feet for at least the first few months because you never know where her mouth has been.
  • Remember to wash your hands after touching your pet before you breastfeed or prepare formula.
  • Keep your pet's nails trimmed to avoid scratches, which could get infected.
  • Wash pets outside to avoid spreading germs where you prepare food and bathe your baby.

Animal Dangers

There are certain pets that babies -- and all kids under 5 -- should avoid completely because they can carry salmonella and other dangerous germs.

  • Lizards
  • Baby chicks
  • Turtles
  • Snakes
  • Frogs & toads
  • Ducklings

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