You may have heard that pets can be bad for pregnant women. And you’ve probably heard about how pregnant women should avoid cats, in particular. But do pets really pose any real threat to the health of women who are pregnant or to their unborn babies? Continue reading to learn more.
Train Your Dog Not to Jump on You
While you’re pregnant, it isn’t a good idea for your dog of any size to jump on your abdomen. So if this is something that your dog is used to doing, or if he regularly curls up on your stomach if he’s a small dog and wishes to take a nap with you, you need to train him not to do this until after you’ve given birth. This is the best way to protect your baby while still enjoying the company of your pooch.
Other than the potential that your dog may jump on your stomach while pregnant, you’ll probably find that he’s actually more protective of you than ever before. Enjoy the companionship and fear not, as he poses no risk to your health or your baby’s health.
Cats and Toxoplasmosis
If you’re infected by a parasite known as toxoplasmosis while you’re pregnant, your baby can suffer from birth defects and you may have a miscarriage. But before you worry too much, if you’ve had an indoor housecat for a long time, you don’t need to worry that your cat carries the parasite.
You can always have the cat tested for the parasite by a vet to be absolutely sure. It’s important to note that cats are infected by consuming contaminated raw meat, mice, birds, and soil.
The risk of contracting toxoplasmosis from contaminated food (do not eat any raw or undercooked meat while pregnant) or from an infected cat are higher in pregnant women and those with suppressed immune systems, but this isn’t reason enough to get rid of your cat because basic hygiene and some common sense are really all you need to prevent infection in the first place.
For example, have someone else clean the litter box, or wear a mask and gloves and wash your hands after you do so yourself. Don’t handle or adopt strays or introduce a new cat into your family whom you think may have been living outside or who may have consumed raw meat. And feed your pets only dried or canned commercial foods that are thoroughly cooked.
Go Ahead and Enjoy Your Pets!
While pregnant, it is great to have the companionship of your furry friends, so relax and realise they don’t pose a danger to you or your baby as long as you use some common sense. Simple steps that ensure your hygiene go a long way, and training your dog properly will also prevent accidental injuries.