Children and Understanding Pregnant Pets
With pets in the family it stands to reason that before too long there will be puppies, kittens or other young arriving on the scene. The whole process of our pets giving birth is a fascinating time and should not be missed, but how to explain it to the children...
To Tell or Not?Some children are born into families where cats or dogs are bred on a frequent basis. To these children it is natural to see animals mating and experience birth, and death, of pets around the home, However if a child has never seen young being born or a mating there are several ways to explain the process.
Mating a PetIf there is to be a planned mating of a pet you may wish to consider whether your child is too young to experience new life at this time. If this is the case or it is your choice to avoid your child gaining firsthand knowledge of reproduction at this time then arrange for the mating to take place when they are away from the house.
You may, when a pregnancy has been confirmed, decide to tell the child that puppies or kittens are due and include them in the preparation. A place for the mother and young out of the noise of the household will be needed and if your child helps prepare the area he or she is more likely to accept that they cannot interfere in the early days after the young are born.
Even the most loving of family pets can become very possessive when they first give birth and will see off every member of the family until they are prepared to share their new brood. Bringing infection to the young is also a consideration and the constant stream of children popping in to look at the new arrivals could jeopardise their health.