1. Pets pose few dangers during pregnancy or childhood. Of course, they must be kept healthy and clean. Dogs and cats should be appropriately vaccinated. All the animals must be friendly and safe for children to be around, and even a friendly dog shouldn’t be left alone with a baby or toddler. Animals that do not tolerate children well should not be part of a human family. Most cats pay little attention to a baby. Your cats need to know, though, that the baby’s bed is not a place for them to be. Once your baby is crawling and walking, make sure that the litter box is tucked away somewhere where he can’t get to it. As your child grows, teach him to wash his hands thoroughly after handling any pet.

    Lastly, enjoy your animals. They are a part of your family, and by growing up with them, your child will learn to love all of nature’s creatures.

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Ask Tori RN®, by registered nurse and resident author of The Joy of Pregnancy, is a helpful and reassuring resource for parents-to-be.