Pregnancy And Pets: Here’s Your Guide To Risks And Safety

Pregnancy And Pets: Here’s Your Guide To Risks And Safety

26 Apr 2022 | 4 min Read

Sayani Basu

Author | 216 Articles

Are you expecting your first baby, besides being a pet parent? If yes, this article is for you!

Pets are part of our family. They provide companionship, and become our best friends. But, along with all the joy of having a pet, there are a few concerns since some pets pose health risks, especially during pregnancy.

Pets bring with them numerous germs and microbes. They bring more risks to expecting mums with weaker immune systems. These microbes find an easy way to enter the mum’s body and cause hazards. Expecting mums have to be careful about the kind of pets she keeps at home.

The good news is that you don’t need to put your pet up for adoption just because you’re expecting. You just need to be careful and make sure that you adapt to a few changes while taking care of your pet.

Dos And Don’ts For Expecting Mums With Pets At Home

Here’s a guide for expecting mums who have pets at home:


Pregnant women must be careful while handling cats as they may carry toxoplasmosis, an infection caused by a parasite. Cats can also pass this parasite in their faeces (poop).

Toxoplasmosis can cross the placenta and harm the developing baby. It can also cause premature birth or low birth weight, serious central nervous system defects and stillbirth.

If you are immune to toxoplasmosis from a previous infection before pregnancy, you are not likely to be infected again.

Thus, if you are a cat owner and want to conceive, you can ask your doctor for a simple blood test (antibodies level) to check if you are immune to toxoplasmosis.

Risks of Having a Pet Cat if you are a Mum-to-be

Expecting mums can get infected with toxoplasmosis by cleaning kitty poop.

  • Safety tips:
  1. Let someone else take the responsibility of cleaning the cat’s poop.
  1. If you’re not immune, you must ensure that your cat is not exposed to other cats or their faeces that might cause it to be newly infected.
  1. Acquiring a new cat is not advisable.


If your dog has been to the vet and is up-to-date on its rabies shots, there is no need to worry. You might have it examined for parasites at regular intervals as an extra precaution.

All the immunisations for your dog must be completed before you are in the final trimester. | Image Source: pixabay

Risks of Having a Pet Dog if you are Pregnant:

Certain dogs have a habit of licking your hands, face or even biting randomly. These can transfer infection or germs and put you at risk during this crucial time.

Some of the dogs also have a habit of jumping on their owners when they are happy. Your dog jumping on your pregnant belly is not good.

  • Safety tips:

All the immunisations for your dog must be completed before you are in the final trimester.


Birds usually stay in their cages. The only interaction that takes place is while feeding them or cleaning the cages.

Birds can transmit infections like campylobacter and salmonella which can cause miscarriage and stillbirth. | Image Source: pexels

Possible Risks of having a pet bird if you are Expecting:

Birds can transmit infections like campylobacter and salmonella. These can cause complications like miscarriages in early pregnancy or stillbirth in advanced pregnancy.

  • Safety tips:
  1. You can take the bird to the vet to check for any infection.
  1. It is advisable to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and hot water following any handling of the bird or its cage.
  1. Let someone else take the responsibility of cleaning the bird’s cage.

In addition to these, some people love to have exotic pets like turtles and lizards. Many reptiles tend to carry a lot of germs. They might also carry salmonella, a certain type of bacteria that can easily cause miscarriage. 

The only way to ensure safety during such a crucial time is to make sure that the reptile is shifted out of the house before childbirth. The house should be cleaned properly after this.

Once you get to know that you are pregnant, and you don’t have a pet, it’s advisable not to adopt a new pet. However, if have already have pets there is no need to fret if you follow proper precautions and safety measures.

DISCLAIMER: We have taken steps to check the accuracy of information & practices shared above; however, it is not a replacement for a doctor’s opinion. Please check with either your doctor, or an expert, before trying any suggestion, practice, or medication mentioned here.

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