You and your family are going to be visiting family and friends this holiday season. As you prepare for your travels, consider that you will not only be visiting humans. You will also be visiting their family pets. While you may love animals, not all animals love strangers. The holidays can be a stressful time for pets because their routines are often turned upside down. Preventing bites is not only your hosts’ responsibility, but yours. Here are some tips for interacting with pets this holiday season.
You adore dogs and even have some of your own. Never assume that a dog is friendly or that it will welcome your touch. Do not let your children chase after someone’s dog to pet it or play with it.
Wait for the animal to approach you. When it does, let it sniff you without having to tolerate being petted. Touch the animal only when you are sure that it is comfortable. When you do decide to reach out, never move your hand above the animal’s head. Instead, pet its chest or side. This is much less threatening.
Believe it or not, cat bites may not cause as much immediate damage as a dog bite, but they can be much more severe long-term. This is especially true if you are bitten over a joint.
Cats do not tend to be social creatures and they are wary of strangers. There are, of course, cats that are social butterflies, but this is often an exception to the rule. Like dogs, let a cat approach you. It will if it’s interested. Do not let your child chase or carry the cat. Remember that cats defend themselves with very sharp claws.
Don’t like cats and don’t want to be bothered? Make eye contact. Cats are more likely to approach people that ignore them. If you want to be left alone, stare at a cat and it