Animal Safety

Animals can be great fun, but it's important to know how to be safe when you're with them. Both indoor animals and outdoor animals need to be treated kindly all the time. This means different things depending on the animal and the situation. With a wild animal, being kind may mean staying far away so the animal doesn't feel threatened and so you stay safe




Playing Safely With Pets

Pets can't tell you if they're upset or scared, so they show you. They might do this by biting or scratching. To avoid bites and scratches:


•Never bother a pet when it's eating or pull its food or water away.


•Don't tease a dog or cat or pull its tail or ears.


•Never bother a pet when it's sleeping.


•Don't take a toy or bone away from a cat or dog or hold it out of reach of the animal.


•Never try to get near a pet with its babies (like a cat with kittens or a dog with puppies). Animal mothers are very protective and will bite to keep you away.


•When lifting a rabbit, hamster, guinea pig, or gerbil from its cage, do it slowly. Be sure to hold the animal underneath its belly.


•Never pick up or hold a rabbit by its ears.


•When pulling an iguana, lizard, snake, or other reptile from its tank, do it slowly and carefully. Then wash your hands right away because reptiles can carry bacteria like Salmonella on their skin.


•Never stick your bare hand into a fish tank — most fish can't hurt you. But a few types of fish can and do sting if they get upset. The water also contains germs that could cause a skin infection.


•If a pet looks sick or is injured, stay far away. An animal that normally loves to be petted and played with may get very upset and even bite when it is feeling ill. Tell an adult so he or she can get help for the animal.


When you're at a friend's home, the same rules apply — plus one more. Always ask your friend if it's OK to pet or hold his or her pet. If your friend says OK, move slowly and be sure to let the animal sniff your hands first.




Switch Site