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Kids: Be careful around other people’s pets


 Photo: andresr/iStockphoto

Plan on spending time during the holidays visiting family or friends who own pets? If so – and you’ll have kids with you – it’s a good time to share some pet safety tips with your little ones.

Here are some do’s and don’ts from KidsHealth.org:


  • Ask for permission before petting or picking up a pet.
  • Lift animals such as rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs and gerbils from their cage slowly, and make sure to hold the animal underneath its belly.
  • Pick up iguanas, lizards, snakes or other reptiles from their tanks slowly and carefully. Wash your hands after putting the pet down. Reptiles can carry bacteria that can make you sick.


  • Bother a pet when it’s eating or sleeping.
  • Tease a dog or cat, or pull its tail or ears.
  • Take a toy or bone away from a pet.
  • Pick up or hold a rabbit by its ears.
  • Stick your hand into a fish tank. Some fish may sting if they get upset.
  • Go near an animal that’s sick or injured. Tell an adult who can get help.
  • Pet or touch a cat you don’t know, even if it seems friendly.

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