Pets, both large and small, have a very special kind of companionship to offer not just your children, but also your family. Not only do they foster cognitive, emotional, social, and physical development for the members of your home, there is also some solid evidence that they help make your family become healthier.
How Exactly Do Pets Help Make Your Children And Family Healthier?
A recent study by the University of Alberta suggested that the benefits of growing up closely with a pet can kick in as early as infanthood. According to this study, babies belonging to families with pets, of which 70 percent were dogs, displayed higher levels of two types of microbes that are identified with a lower risk of obesity and allergic disease.
This belief stems from the fact that keeping your environment completely sanitized and germ-free is unhealthy for the members of your
Families with pet animals are more exposed to pet allergens, such as bacteria that live in a dog or a cat’s mouth. When licked by their pets, these allergens get transferred onto the children as well as the adults. This exposure to pet allergens will over time, make the immune system much stronger and may even change the way it reacts to other allergens.
Therefore, it is no wonder that research suggests that immunosuppressive patients should consider owning pets to reduce their risk of disease.1
Now that is clear that apart from having a loyal companion, your child and your family could possibly benefit from having pets in some not-so-obvious ways, you can start setting the relationship up for a successful bonding right from the beginning.
How To Introduce Your Newborn Baby To Your Pets
If you’ve recently blessed with a baby, you’d be relieved to think that the hard part is finally over, after those nine, long months of pregnancy, labor, and a delivery. Unfortunately, you’re wrong. When bringing a new baby into your home for the first time, your four-legged family members, if not properly prepped, may be the most apprehensive. Whether it is your first child, or your second, or even your third – and you’re wondering how to introduce your infant to your fur babies, here are a few pointers to guide you through the process.
1. Start With The Basics
Brushing up on some basic commands like stay, sit, and down (this is only for dogs) will come in very handy when you need your pet to behave around the baby. This will help both you and your pet be more confident once the baby arrives. In case you’ve never needed to train your dog, it would be a good idea to enroll yourself and your pet into a training class or call a professional trainer home so that you can both practice in familiar territory.
2. Keep Your Pet Involved During The Set Up
Keeping your pets out of your baby’s nursery while you’re setting up the space may cause them to develop negative feelings about that particular area in the house. This negativity could end up being associated with your baby once
3. Adjust Your Pets’ Routine Slowly And Steadily
Having a baby in the house may mean fewer walks for your pets, or being fed at a different time than what they were used to. Start getting your pets adjusted to this change slowly, a few weeks before your baby arrives. You don’t want to make these changes abrupt, for they might result in bad behaviors or accidents.
4. Let Your Pet Get Used To A Baby’s Presence
You could try requesting a few friends or family members if they’d mind introducing their babies to your pets. This will allow your pets to get used to baby sounds, which can be quite painful for their ears if they’re not used to them. Getting them familiarized with baby behavior and sounds will help both you and your pets be at ease when it’s time for your baby to come home to you.
5. Make A Positive Introduction
Don’t be too eager to introduce your baby to your pets, especially if they are dogs, the moment you walk in through the door. Your pets might see your infant as a suspicious foreign object that’s getting too close to comfort to their human parents, and this might trigger a hostile reaction in them. Instead, try having a
One of the most important things to remember is not get too wrapped up in your baby’s arrival that might make your pets feel ignored and hence, jealous. Try to divide your attention as much as possible between both your newly arrived infant and your pets and keep them as involved as you can. If you keep yourself calm and stay positive, your pets will watch, learn, and hopefully, follow your example!
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