Children and Pets – Teaching Them to Co-Exist


It is possible for children and pets to coexist in the same household, peacefully. Many people mistakenly think that as soon as they start having children that their pet needs to head to the local shelter. This is not the case.


Let's dive right in.


Children And Pets CAN Co-Exist



New parents fear that the cat or dog will not get along with the new child and it will result in biting or scratching.


This is not always the case. If you take the time to introduce your pets to your children properly your children and pets can live in harmony.


Concerns about Children and Pets


One of the biggest concerns that new parents have when it comes to pets in the home is how it will react to a baby. Many of the old wives tales such as cats sucking the breath out of babies simply are not true.


In fact, many cats and dogs readily accept a new child into the home. And become fiercely loyal and protective over the baby.


Home for Children and Pets


When you bring your baby home from the hospital you should introduce your pet to your new baby. Of course these introductions need supervision. Allow your cat or dog time to sniff your child at his or her own pace.


When it comes to children and pets be sure to make the introduction pleasant for your cat or dog. In most cases your cat or dog will not give your baby a second thought.


Allow your pet to adjust to the new situation on his or her own terms. When a baby comes to the house it is an adjustment for everybody.




With children and pets, the other thing that you might want to consider doing when you bring a baby into the home is to make sure that your cat or dog is properly groomed. This includes trimming your dog or cats nails.


Your dog may want to put a paw on your baby. If his or her nails are long and sharp your dog may accidentally scratch your infant.


You can never eliminate pet hair from your home. But if your dog or cat is clipped and brushed it will certainly help your home stay a little cleaner.




Many new parents also worry about allergies with children and pets in the same home.


The fact is many studies have shown that children who are exposed to pets from a very young age actually have less pet allergies than children who are not exposed to pets.




When considering children and pets, another good idea is to make sure that your pets do not have access to your baby’s room during naptime. Or at night without supervision.


While your pet probably means no harm to your child, pets are naturally curious.


A cat may jump into your infants crib or a large dog could easily knock a bassinet or cradle over. You should always supervise your pet when it is around your new baby at all times.


Quality Time


Most of all, you should try to make sure that you are still spending quality time with your pet when possible. This especially pertains to dogs which are used to playing in the backyard and going for walks.




As your child grows you need to begin teaching your child proper pet etiquette. If your dog or cat has learned to respect your child then your child also needs to learn to respect your pet.


Teach your child from a young age that they should never pull or yank a cat or dog's tail or ears.


In a children and pet environment your child can learn proper pet etiquette even at a very young age. You will also want to teach your child to respect your pet’s space.




This includes making sure that your child understands that he or she should never wake a sleeping pet. This could cause your pet to become startled and could result in biting or scratching.


In addition, when dealing with children and pets, you will want to make sure that your child understands to stay out of your pet’s food, water and litter box.


Space for Children and Pets


Your child will be naturally curious so it is always best to give your pet some private space away from your child.


There are many things you can do to make sure that children and pets coexist peacefully.


No Reason


Your children and pets need to learn to respect each other from the very beginning. There is no reason to get rid of your cat or dog just because you have a child in the home.


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