Homes that have both children and dogs need to be especially vigilant about vaccinations and regular veterinary visits. There are some dog illnesses that can be transmitted to a child through a bite, or handling the dog’s waste products.
Here are some health issues that you should be aware of when combining children and dogs:
Fleas and ticks can cross from one to the other. Obviously, the best way to prevent this is offer your pet protection through a monthly pill or treatment.
Rabies and dog bites. Dogs that are regularly vaccinated will not contract rabies. Dogs do not often bite if they are not provoked. Teach both the child and the dog appropriate contact rules.
Worms. Children can be exposed to hookworms and roundworms if your dog is not de-wormed and inspected by the veterinarian. Handling the dog’s waste products is the most likely source of exposure.
Allergies. Children can be allergic to pet dander or even pet hair. If this is the case, reminding the child to stay away from the bedding, as this is the location with the most contact with the dog, will help the child avoid allergy attacks. An allergy doctor can make appropriate recommendations for the best solutions for your child’s allergies.
Dogs are very loving companions for children but precautions must be made. Being aware of potential issues is only being careful to provide a safe environment.
One final note: Do not leave your child and dog together unattended. Accidents happen and either could be hurt if unsupervised.