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).

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This message is not intended to provide individual medical advice. Always seek the advice of a physician or qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have about your health or medical condition, your breastfeeding issues and your infant's health. Never disregard, avoid or delay contacting a doctor or other qualified professional because of something you have read in our emails, webpages or other electronic communications.

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