If you have beloved furry friends at home, you were probably worried about how your pets and baby will interact with each other. One of the concerns you might not have even thought about is what to do when you find dog or cat hair in your baby’s poop?
Finding dog or cat hair in your baby’s poop is not a cause for concern provided that it is a small amount and your baby isn’t displaying any signs of an allergic reaction. Large amounts of dog or cat hair, however, could cause stomach upset or blockage so take care to keep your baby’s play areas clean.
Read on to learn more about how to tell if there is dog or cat hair in your baby’s poop and what to do about it.
What are the little black hairs in baby poop?
Could these little black hairs in baby poop be from your furry friends? It certainly is possible.
If you’re a pet owner, you probably spend time each day sweeping and vacuuming up hair. Sometimes it feels like not even ten minutes have passed when you find the next wad of hair rolling by your feet! So it’s certainly conceivable that your baby is crawling along on your floor and accidentally ingests pet hair.
If your baby has started solids (typically this starts around 6 months), it could also be fibers from foods like bananas.
Is pet hair dangerous when swallowed?
Overall, pet hair has very little chance of being dangerous when swallowed.
Pet hair is biologically very similar to human hair and primarily made up of the protein Keratin. This is something that humans (including the baby) cannot digest. So it will end up exiting the stomach, going through your small and large intestines, and then being excreted in your baby’s poop.
Your little one would have to consume a significant amount of pet hair to cause any type of blockage or intestinal distress. Some concerned parents may have heard reports about hair getting inside your liver and causing issues, but this simply a rumor.
Can swallowing pet hair cause an allergic reaction?
Looking out for allergies in babies is important.
If neither parent has any known allergies, the likelihood of ingesting pet hair and causing an allergic reaction is probably low. The baby’s first encounter with the pet hair is probably not going to be from ingesting it. Likely, if your baby has an allergy to pet hair, it would be from the dander and skin flakes. In most cases, an allergic reaction would first develop from the air containing hair and/or direct contact like crawling on a carpet.
Being aware of your own history of allergies can help clue you in on what to look out for with your own child. If you have an allergy to pet hair and dander, then you should look out for symptoms of a reaction, which may include a prolonged runny nose, red eyes, coughing, congestion, or skin irritation in your baby. In more severe cases, reactions could include hives or difficulty breathing.
Dog hair in baby poop
Unless you are a lucky owner of a dog that does not shed, there is a possibility of your baby accidentally swallowing their hair. So, you may want to know what might happen in the event they do ingest some. We break it all down right here!
Is dog hair harmful to babies?
Normal exposure to dog hair is not likely to be harmful to your baby, although it could cause a negative reaction in babies who are predisposed to be allergic to dander. Even a small amount of dog hair passing through your baby’s digestive system isn’t likely to cause an issue, but you should be careful to make sure she doesn’t try to eat enough to choke on.
There is always the possibility of the baby having an allergic reaction to dog dander and skin flakes. However, there is actually good research in general to support pet exposure being positive for babies in developing immunity against allergies.
You may be concerned that pet hair could be a choking hazard if your little one ingests some. While one hair is not going to cause an issue, if your baby grabs a large clump of hair and tries to consume it, this could pose a serious problem. We all know that by around the three-month mark your child is constantly putting her hands in their mouth. It only continues from there, so it’s important to always be monitoring them to avoid choking hazards.
Can swallowing dog hair cause an allergic reaction?
If an allergy already exists in the child, swallowing dog hair has the potential to cause an allergic reaction.
However, if you have not picked up on any type of reactions from dog dander and hair being in the air, on your floors, on your clothes (literally everywhere!), then you probably don’t have to be concerned about it causing an allergic reaction.
What to do if baby swallowed dog hair
You just watched your baby swallow dog hair and now you’re furiously googling what to do.
First, take a deep breath. Observe your child to make sure you are not seeing any signs of an allergic reaction (runny nose, red eyes, coughing, congestion, hives, or difficulty breathing). Then, all you can do is wait and watch for her poop for the next few days. Generally speaking, you can expect that it will pass through her digestive system safely and be excreted for you to see again in their diaper.
Cat hair in baby poop
It is quite inevitable that if you have a cat, it will shed. Its dander will get into the air, the carpet, and on furniture.
When bringing a newborn into the home try and do your best to keep up with cleaning, as well as keeping the cat well bathed and groomed to reduce the amount of dander and pet hair that might be exposed to your baby. In general cat hair on its own is not a large concern to babies.
Is cat hair harmful to babies?
There are a few instances where cat hair can be harmful to babies. Parents should mostly be concerned if there is a pre-existing allergy, if the baby were to put a large handful of cat hair in their mouth causing a choking hazard, or if you have outdoor cats that may not be vaccinated.
This last one is the largest concern because the cat could be potentially carrying a type of parasite on its fur. If the child came into contact in this scenario, it could cause medical issues. There is also always the potential issue of babies getting ahold of cat poop and eating it!
Can swallowing cat hair cause an allergic reaction?
If you have addressed that there is a pre-existing allergy with your child, then swallowing pet hair most certainly could cause an allergic reaction. However, if he or she has not shown any symptoms previously, the likelihood of an allergic reaction being caused by swallowing cat hair is very low.
What to do if baby swallowed cat hair
So you’re pretty sure that you just watched your adorable infant swallow your cat’s hair.
Take a deep breath. There is no concern if it was just a hair or two. It is not going to get wrapped around their intestinal organs. You will just have to wait this one out and see if it appears in the child’s poop in a few days.