5 Things You Should Teach Your Kids About Animal Safety


    https://www.pexels.com/photo/children-petting-a-dog-15355791/San Francisco is sometimes considered the pet-friendliest city in the United States. It contains many spaces for animals to roam around, such as parks and cafes that accept animals. Because of this, a famous rumor has gone around that there are more pets around the city than children.

    There may actually be some truth to this rumor—the pet care market is growing considerably, with a projected value of $232.14 billion by 2030. At the same time, however, San Francisco has currently become the most childless major city in the US. Nevertheless, families residing in the suburban and residential San Francisco communities may want to also take in pets. Whether it’s due to their cute nature or companionship, chances are that your kid will want to interact with animals they encounter or even have their own pet.

    But before introducing an animal to your household, you should know how to teach your kids about animal safety. More than an estimated 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs in the US every year and two million of those are children.

    As much as we want to supervise them as often as possible, rescuing them whenever they explore the world is one of the common ways we undermine our kids. Knowing how to deal with animals, both inside and outside of your home, is an important life skill that your kids will benefit from as they grow up. Below are five things you should teach your kids about animal safety.

    The animal’s body language

    Signs of fear or aggression differ from animal to animal, but you may want to teach this to your kids so that when they encounter animals that are commonly kept as pets. Dogs, for example, may show a variety of signs that indicate that you should leave them alone. These include having their tail in between their legs, a low growl or loud barking, and a stiff or trembling body. Cats, on the other hand, should be left alone when they show any of the following body language: hissing, growling, having their back arched, and their hair standing up on the back of their neck.

    How to handle the animal properly

    First and foremost, teach your kids to be calm around animals, which will help them avoid making the animal scared or aggressive. Then, make sure to educate your kids on how to interact with different animals. For example, when holding small mammals such as rabbits, guinea pigs, and mice, always hold them properly—keep your hand underneath their belly. The list of how to handle different animals could go on, but the key is to do your research on how to safely handle the animal that your kids will interact with.

    Basic hygiene

    When playing with animals, your kids can come into contact with dirt and bacteria, not to mention parasites such as ticks, which can carry harmful diseases. With this, it’s best to tell your kids what they can do to stay clean. Washing your hands is crucial to protecting yourself and the people around you from getting sick. Likewise, getting a pet will entail cleaning it and cleaning after it regularly; make sure to involve your kids in this.

    Handling injuries

    Whether it’s bites, scratches, or other more serious forms of injuries from an animal, teach your kids first aid—just in case. If any bleeding occurs, emphasize the importance of applying direct pressure to the area and washing it off with clean water and soap. Don’t forget to also teach them how to cover wounds properly with bandages!

    Interacting with other animals and wildlife

    Teaching this to your kids should be easy, as the rule when in the great outdoors is never to go near, touch, or feed an animal. Though these may look cute and friendly, it’s best to look at them from afar. However, if your kids truly want to touch and interact with other animals, you may want to bring them to a zoo or farm.


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