Bringing a Pet into Your Toddler's Life

Getting a new pet is an exciting time for your family! Before you bring home any animal, be sure that your child isn’t allergic to its fur or saliva.

If you’re interested in getting a dog, take your toddler to visit a friend with a dog and see how she does. If you don’t have a family history of allergies, she is unlikely to be allergic, but take the time to make sure.


Once you do have a dog in the house, close contact between your children and pets is inevitable. While dogs can carry germs, they aren’t likely to make your child sick. Asking him to wash his hands after playing with the puppy is a prudent precaution.

Never leave your toddler alone with any dog, as both dogs and toddlers can be unpredictable and may unintentionally hurt one another. Regularly teach and model for your child the right way to approach and pet a dog and when to stay away (such as during the dog’s mealtime).

Disclaimer: This page is not intended to provide medical advice about your child. Always seek the advice of a physician, qualified healthcare provider or child-development specialist with any questions you have about your child's health, medical condition or development. Never disregard, avoid or delay contacting a doctor or other qualified professional because of something you read here.

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