Ba­bies and Pets Don’t Throw The Dog Out With The Baby’s Bath Wa­ter

One of the top rea­sons an­i­mals end up in shel­ters is be­cause of a grow­ing fam­ily, as some peo­ple are over­whelmed jug­gling a new ad­di­tion and their furry friends. How­ever, stud­ies show they are ben­e­fi­cial to the fam­ily

The Playa Times Riviera Maya's English Newspaper - - Animal Welfare - BY NASH

One of the top rea­sons dogs and cats end up in shel­ters is be­cause of the ad­di­tion of a new baby. In the world of an­i­mal res­cue, they hear it all too of­ten, “now that we have a new baby, we do not have time for this dog or cat.”

Be­sides be­ing over­whelmed by the new re­spon­si­bil­i­ties peo­ple fear that an­i­mals will make the child sick or be the cause of al­ler­gies, but in fact hav­ing pets in the home will help build the child’s im­mune sys­tem. Hav­ing pets is also linked with a lower risk of al­ler­gies amongst ba­bies that are ex­posed to pet dan­der and the mi­crobes that pets will carry into the home by build­ing up their de­vel­op­ing im­mune sys­tem and train­ing their bod­ies to fend off al­ler­gies and bac­te­ria.

The Jour­nal of Pe­di­atrics pub­lished a study show­ing that pets make peo­ple health­ier, “Ba­bies who are in close con­tact with dogs or cats dur­ing their first twelve months of life were found to en­joy bet­ter health and were less likely to suf­fer from res­pi­ra­tory in­fec­tions, com­pared to those with­out any pets in the house or no close con­tact with these an­i­mals.”

Be­sides the health ben­e­fits of hav­ing a pet in the home, there are many other ad­van­tages for kids with pets. Rais­ing a pet gives a child daily re­spon­si­bil­i­ties and com­mit­ment, which in turn gives them con­fi­dence. The un­con­di­tional love of a pet teaches a child about com­pas­sion for other liv­ing be­ings, ac­cep­tance, friend­ship and non-ver­bal com­mu­ni­ca­tion. Of course hav­ing a dog will help a child be more ac­tive and ben­e­fit from out­door ac­tiv­i­ties and play, mak­ing them more so­cial.

Chil­dren that have a dif­fi­cult time re­lat­ing to other hu­mans may have a bond with a pet and im­prove their in­ter­ac­tion skills. Live­Science. com re­ports that chil­dren with autism who have a trained pet in the home have dra­mat­i­cally re­duced stress hor­mones and a sig­nif­i­cant drop in be­hav­ioral prob­lems. There has also been suc­cess­ful work with chil­dren suf­fer­ing from PTSD(Post Trau­matic Stress Dis­or­der), us­ing pets as well with other chil­dren’s dis­abil­i­ties.

Pets also pro­vide lessons about life: re­pro­duc­tion, birth, ill­nesses, ac­ci­dents, death and be­reave­ment.

Although dogs are ded­i­cated and loyal babysit­ters their in­ter­ac­tions with ba­bies and small chil­dren should al­ways be su­per­vised, dogs are in­cred­i­bly pa­tient, but some­times they can re­act to a poke in the eye or a pulled tail. Com­pan­ion an­i­mals are a life­long com­mit­ment and an im­por­tant part of the fam­ily.

If you would like tips about in­tro­duc­ing your pet to your new baby check out this ASPCA web­site:

www.aspca.org/pet-care/vir­tual-pet-be­hav­ior­ist/dog-be­hav­ior/ in­tro­duc­ing-your-dog-your-new-baby

Ba­bies who are in close con­tact with dogs or cats dur­ing their first twelve months of life were found to en­joy bet­ter health and were less likely to suf­fer from res­pi­ra­tory in­fec­tions, com­pared to those with­out any pets in the house or no close con­tact with these an­i­mals.”

Jour­nal of Pe­di­atrics

Pets are in­stru­men­tal to the healthy de­vel­op­ment of chil­dren /

Photo: Leesia Teh Pho­tog­ra­phy

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