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Can I Keep a Pet During Pregnancy?

Most of us love pets because they are fun and make great companions. Some pets especially dogs even act as security, protecting us against burglars, murderers or armed robbers. You may have been used to keeping pets most of your life, but it’s important to think twice the moment you become pregnant. The big question many pregnant pet lovers ask is whether or not it’s safe to keep pets. Well, to tell the truth, there is no clear-cut answer to this question as there are several things to take into consideration.

First and foremost, some pets are associated with diseases such as toxoplasmosis, rabies, Lyme and Zoonotic diseases which are all dangerous for pregnant women. Besides, some of these illnesses can affect the unborn baby, leading to miscarriages, birth defects or even death.

There are also more reasons not to keep pets during pregnancy than just diseases and illnesses. Some pets can become aggressive to the extent of scratching, biting or harming you and your newborn.

In addition, pregnancy is a complex period that can easily result in sluggishness. The question now is; do you have the strength to take care of your pet(s) while you are pregnant? Note that some women have more energy and lesser complications during pregnancy. Therefore, you will probably care for your pet conveniently if you belong to this class of women.

There is no Yes or No response about keeping pets while you are pregnant. However, here are some safety tips for pregnant women with pets:

  • Ensure that your pets visit the vet for their vaccines and regular check-ups. This will help rule out and possibly handle illnesses that could be transmitted to you and your unborn baby.
  • Be cautious around large pets especially large dogs. They can jump and accidentally knock you down during pregnancy. Large pets can also hop on your newborn and suffocate them.
  • Prevent pet bites by being careful around them. Report any pet bites to your doctor as soon as possible.
  • Wash your hands as often as possible and use disposable gloves to dispose of your pet litter.
  • Hire someone else to clean and change your pet’s litter box.
  • Get rid of and dispose of dead pets as soon as possible. This is especially for pregnant women keeping fish as pets.
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