Animals to Avoid While Pregnant: Risks and Precautions


Animals to Avoid While Pregnant

If you are looking forward to the arrival of your baby as a new member of the family, there are certain things that need to be considered before the baby arrives. However, there might be certain members of the family who might not seem equally enthusiastic. They are your pets. Usually, dogs and cats become stressed and unhappy, thus being a possible cause of problems for you and the baby as well.

Here is a list of few pets/animals to avoid during pregnancy for some specific concerns. Check out the precautions as well to avoid any harm to your baby because of your pets.

Read More: 25 Things to Avoid During Pregnancy

Cat: How safe is it to keep a cat if you are expecting?

If you are expecting and have a cat at home, this might be an issue of serious concern for you. This is because the cat poo contains toxoplasmosis, a parasitic infection that can lead to birth defects. The cat litter becomes infectious after one day. Therefore, if you have a cat as your pet, it is advised to either ask someone else to clean the litter or be cautious if you are doing it yourself.

These precautions include:

  • Make sure to wear gloves if you are cleaning the litter yourself.
  • It is important to wash your hands every time you clean the litter.
  • Make it a point to clean the litter everyday as it can get infectious in one day.
  • Try to keep your cat indoors so as to keep them from eating contaminated food. It is recommended to feed them on dried or commercial cat food.
  • Avoid serving raw or undercooked meat to your cat. When expecting, do not bring a new cat, who has eaten raw or undercooked meat or been an outdoor cat, to your home.

animals while pregnant


In addition to all these precautions, it is important to get yourself tested for toxoplasmosis if you have had cats for quite a long time. This would help you check if you are infected or immune already.

Read more: 11 Must Know Infections While Travelling During Pregnancy

Rodent: How safe is it to have a rodent as a pet?

Many people like to have pet gerbils, mice, guinea pigs, and hamsters. Well, if you are expecting, it is highly important to be careful when handling them as they might contain a virus known as lymphocytic choriomeningitis (LCMV). This virus can harm the baby as well as the expecting mothers. LCMV can pose health effects as serious as miscarriage or serious birth defects. Therefore, it is important to remove pet rodents from home when you are expecting.

Feathered Pets: How safe is it to have feathered pets during pregnancy?

If you are pregnant and have pet birds at home, it is important to take your feathered friend to a veterinarian for a complete health check up. Basically, birds can transmit salmonella, Campylobacter, chlamydiosis, and many other infections that can further lead to miscarriage or even stillbirth in case of advanced pregnancy.

Although it is recommended to get these bird pets out of the house when pregnant, there are certain precautions that should be taken if you still want to have them around.

  • Ask someone else to clean the bird cage and avoid doing it yourself during pregnancy.
  • Make sure to wash your hands every time you touch the bird or even the cage.

Read More: 11 Herbal Teas to Avoid During Pregnancy


Dog:How safe is it to have a dog as a pet during Pregnancy?

Generally, there is no harm in having a dog as a pet if you are expecting. However, there are certain precautions that need to be considered to prepare him for the arrival of a new member.

These precautions include:

  • Make your dog learn obedience training if he has never had it before. This can be the right time to make him learn basic instructions like “drop the toy”, “stop chewing”, “no jumping”, and similar more. You can also opt for an obedience training center that offers “baby readiness” classes to train your dog or necessary adjustments.
  • Try to make your pup friendly with kids and babies before you welcome your own. You can do this by inviting friends with babies to your place before your own arrives, to make him get used to playing with babies. Using a baby doll is another great idea.
  • Sudden withdrawal of attention from your pup might make him insecure. Therefore, prepare him gradually for the upcoming changes by reducing the time spent together every day. For example, ask your partner to take him for his daily walks or you can ask the house help to assist with showers and grooming of your pup.

Read More: Pets and Your Child – To Get or Not To Get

Enjoy Motherhood!