Dealing With Pets – Important Safety Tips For Parent & Kids
- by Michelle Dalida

Pet care doesn’t only mean keeping your pet healthy, but extends to how to treat all pets and animals. Belfast Telegraph recently printed a story about a pack of dogs running loose on school grounds, eventually attacking several children at St Therese's Lenamore Primary School in Londonderry. Thankfully, none of the kids had to be hospitalized, but this attack was a good wake up call to parents with and without pets since the incident started because dogs would follow their owners to school.

Here are some tips on what kids can do from

  • Never bother a pet when it's eating or sleeping
  • Don't tease a dog or cat or pull its tail or ears.
  • 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.
  • If a pet looks sick or is injured, stay far away. 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.

  • Never pet or touch a strange dog, even if it runs up to you and seems like it might be friendly.
  • If a dog starts running toward you, don't run. Running away can make the dog want to chase after you - even if it doesn't want to hurt you, its instincts will tell it to chase.
  • If a strange dog approaches you, try to stand very still. This may be scary for a minute or 2, but often the dog will become bored and walk away. If the dog tries to sniff you, let it sniff - this is its way of checking you out.
  • Walk away from a strange dog very slowly. Don't wave your arms around or make a lot of noise because these actions will only excite the dog. Look straight ahead and not into the dog's eyes.
  • If you are very afraid of a strange dog or a strange dog tries to bite or attack you, tell an adult as soon as possible. He or she can find the dog's owner.

Also: Never pet or touch a strange cat, even if it seems friendly.

Michelle Dalida


Read more daily pet news updates by Michelle at her blog,



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