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Animals and Home Studies

Pet Allergies

Pet allergy is a reaction to proteins found in animal’s skin cells, urine or saliva. This can be triggered by dead flakes of skin (dander) as a pet sheds. Any furry creature can be a source of pet allergy, but allergies are most commonly associated with cats and dogs. Symptoms that occur due to pet allergies may be signs of asthma, with wheezing and difficulty breathing. Other symptoms of a pet allergy are a runny nose, sneezing, and/or itchy, red or watery eyes. If symptoms persist for more than two weeks, you should seek medical advice and make an appointment with your doctor.

Pets as Family Members

Animals and Home StudiesFamilies consist of different shapes and sizes, and many homes may involve a furry friend to keep them company. Some families may decide on adopting a pet after adopting the child.  Others may already have pets when planning the adoption. When adopting a baby, you plan ahead, and the same should be done when you decide on adopting a pet. Parents may anticipate the possibility of the child being allergic to the animal. During the home study visit, the social worker will not only observe how the family interacts with each other but also how the pet interacts with the family. The safety of the child is the utmost concern, and it’s important to understand how a pet might welcome a new baby into the home.

Similar to human beings, animals do not do well in stressful environments. The benefits of having a pet for your adopted children consist of expanding a healthy emotional development, social support, reduction of loneliness, developing empathy and increased self-esteem. If you decide to get a new pet or have a pet already, the social worker will want to know if the pet has received all vaccinations.

Most pets will adjust well to a new family member. The adoptive parents should watch the animal closely when the child comes home. You do not want to leave the animal unattended or running around the baby. Animals cannot express their emotions with words, therefore showing their feelings by possible biting, scratching and/or growling. This may be a normal initial reaction and is the way the animal will protect itself from an unknown or potentially dangerous situation. This usually abates when the pet becomes accustomed to the new arrival. In fact, in many instances, the pet becomes protective of the baby and won’t leave his or her side, offering frequent kisses and cuddles. Some animals, though, may be especially territorial and vicious and parents may have to consider removing the animal from the household. This can be a very hard thing to do, but it is something that has to be considered from the start of the adoption process. It is important to do this responsibly to be sure that, if the pet has to be relocated, it is done in a humane and caring way.

Adoption Choices of Nevada

Home studies are meant to see how the families live, where they live and how they treat each other. When you bring a child into your home it can be a big adjustment. The same goes for any type of pet. The way you take care of and love one another will be mentioned in your home study report. Adoption Choices of Nevada can provide you a helpful, non-judgmental and professional place for birth parents and adoptive families. They can be that support system and helpful hand in your own home study.

For more information, contact Adoption Choices of Nevada. You may visit the website here or call: 775-825-4673 (Reno Office) or 702-474-4673 (Las Vegas Office). Their hours are Monday through Friday, 9am-5pm PST.

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Support Adoption Choices

CrowdriseAdoption Choices, Inc. is partnering with Crowdrise, a fundraising website for nonprofits, to help our adoptive parents and birth parents with much needed financial assistance. We understand that expenses keep clients from fulfilling their dreams. Both with birth parents making a plan for adoption, and with adoptive parents growing their family. It is our mission to provide financial assistance through grants and scholarships, awarded annually in November, in honor of National Adoption Month. Funds assist adoptive parents with matching and placements, adoption finalization and helping birth mothers improve their lives through higher education — and much more.

However, we can’t do it alone. Please read up on our programs and donate money where you are able. Your donation will make a huge impact.

About the Author

Rachel StromRachel Strom graduated from Lehman College in the Bronx in May of 2018, where she received her bachelors in Professional Writing. After receiving her education at Lehman College, Rachel is currently interning at Adoption Choices Inc., where she is a weekly blogger.

Rachel was adopted from Asuncion, Paraguay in 1991. Her adoption experience has helped her write articles for Adoption Choices Inc., from the perspective of an adoptive individual. She hopes her articles will help someone looking into adoption or encourage those currently in the process.

When Rachel is not writing for Adoption Choices Inc. or her own novels she enjoys her other passion for baking, where she resides, in the New York City area. When she is baking, music is always playing throughout the kitchen while she is whipping up a delectable dessert for her friends and adoptive family.

 

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Sources:

“Companion Animals and Child/Adolescent Development: A Systematic Review of the Evidence.” Edited by Paul B. Tchounwou, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Feb. 2017, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/.

Giedzinski, Emily. “Therapy Animals for Adopted Children.” National Council for Adoption, Sept. 2016, www.adoptioncouncil.org/blog/2016/09/therapy-animals-for-adopted-children.

“Pet Allergy.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 17 Nov. 2017, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/pet-allergy/symptoms-causes/syc-20352192.

Picsea, and Unsplash. Baby Girl and Her Puppy. 2017.

Rackear, Amy. “Pets and Home Study: Are Animals a Problem for Adoption?” Adoptive Families, Adoptive Families Magazine, 25 Oct. 2016, www.adoptivefamilies.com/adoption-process/pets-and-home-study/.

Vincent, Jonas, and Unsplash. Sally High Five. 2014.

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