Many expecting parents prepare for months in anticipation of a new baby. For pet parents, this preparation also often involves encouraging appropriate and positive behaviors in their animals during the time leading up to birth.

However, even with adequate preparations, there are still important precautions owners should consider after the arrival of their new addition to ensure the safety of both pets and child.

Dr. Lori Teller, an associate professor in the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, advises new parents to approach the introduction of pets and babies with caution, even if they trust their pet to be gentle.

“The most important thing to remember is that a baby and a pet should never be left alone together, even if you think your pet would never hurt anybody,” she said. “This cannot be overstated.”

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