Top 10 Ways to Keep Children and Pets Safe Together
How You can Help Wild Baby Animals
Top 10 Ways
to Keep Children and Pets Safe Together
pets can grow up together and have a great relationship. Teaching kids to learn how to properly greet
a dog or cat and when to step in as a parent and avoid risks is essential for a
good experience. Too often adults trust
the dog or cat will just tolerate excessive petting, reaching in the bed of a
pet, or getting close to a dog with food, toy or water. Then tragedy results. Here are some simple rules to follow to keep
everyone safe and happy.
- Never leave your child under the age of 5 alone with a dog even for a minute. The child goes with you, the dog goes with
you, or the dog goes out of the area of the child.
- No food of any kind around dogs
and kids. Keep the dog at least 8 feet away from the
children when there is any kid of food around anywhere.
- Do not let your children grab the dog?s toys away from them.
- Do not lay your infant on the floor, or bed with the dog nearby ? may trigger predation.
- Reward your dog for non-fearful,
aggressive, or anxious reactions when your children are loud or active.
- Do not allow your children to bother a sleeping dog at all.
- Have many shelves, perches and places
for your cat to be out of reach of loud active children but in the same room.
- Play with your cat 10 minutes a day with a feather toy on a stick ?
small children can do this supervised.
- Do not rush up to a cat, pat it hard
or bother it when sleeping.
the dog eat alone ? no people or
I am leading a pet/ new infant/child class at Carle Hospital this
year. There will be a class July 16th at 6:30 - 8 pm. Both dog and cat child safety will be
addressed. If you are interested call
217-383-6962 to reserve your spot. Other
classes are scheduled through the year.
So keep your baby gates to separate pets and kids when the pet is getting
tired, or stressed. Teach your children
considerate manners around all pets. Also learn the body language of stress in both dogs and cats so you can
intervene early. If your dog or cat is
regularly hissing, growling, or snapping at your youngsters - do not wait to
get help. I offer safe pet - safe child
consults through my office and I can work with your veterinarian as well.
How You Can Help Wild Baby Animals
Published: Apr. 6, 2011 Source: Anne Rivas An archive of Pet Columns from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine is available online at http://vetmed.illinois.edu/petcolumns/.
In springtime wild critters emerge
from their winter hideaways and before you know it, baby animal season
is here. When you go out to enjoy the warmer weather, you may hear the
peeps of baby birds high up in the trees, or the little chirps of baby
rabbits hiding in their nests of grass.
But, wait! You see no sign of the
mother. You begin to worry about the helpless little ones. You sit on
your porch, waiting for the mother to return. After several hours with
no sign of the mother, you conclude that these animals must be orphaned.
What can you do to save them?
According to Anne Rivas, a veterinary
student and co-manager of the Wildlife Medical Clinic at the University
of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, approximately half of the
"orphaned" animals brought to the wildlife clinic are perfectly healthy.
Some of these animals have been removed from their nest to avoid such
dangers as the family pet or tree removal. But unfortunately,
well-meaning people often "kidnap" baby animals that are being cared for
by their parents.
Why don't you see the mother? It's
because mothers in the wild instinctively try to protect their nests.
That means not drawing attention to the area where the newborns lie. If
the mother detects that her nest is being watched by a potential
predator (even a human standing at a distance), she will stay away from
the nest completely until the coast is clear. If you would like to
ensure that the mother visits the nest to feed her babies, it is best to
watch from afar (completely out of sight) for 4 to 6 hours. In fact,
even without the prospect of danger, mother rabbits normally spend no
more than 5 minutes at their nest per day.
If you find a baby animal out of its
nest, however, this is a time when you can take action to help the
newborn! What to do depends on the age of the animal.
Young birds with feathers are likely
fledglings that may be ready to leave the nest even though they are not
yet fully able to fly. If the bird is featherless, it needs to go back
to its nest as soon as possible.
For baby mammals, age is more
difficult to estimate and depends on the species. The most commonly
found baby mammal is the wild rabbit. If the rabbit is about the size of
a tennis ball, looks just like a miniature form of its adult
counterpart, and is able to hop around, then it is old enough to survive
on its own.
If the baby animal appears too young
to survive on its own, it is very important to remember that any baby
animal's best chance for survival is with its mother.
"Even in the best possible scenarios,
humans will be nowhere near as proficient in care for these delicate
little animals as their mothers will. Survival rates for animals raised
in captivity can be significantly lower than those raised in a natural
setting," Rivas says.
There is also a risk that the baby
animal will "imprint" on humans, meaning that it will no longer have a
fear of humans. In order for the animal to have a good chance of being
successfully returned to the wild, it needs to maintain a healthy fear
of humans to avoid harm to itself and to people. This is particularly
true for raccoons, deer, and birds, who may pose a risk if they approach
people once they are returned to the wild.
Contrary to popular belief, it is not
true that the mother won't feed a baby that has been touched by human
hands. If a baby animal has fallen or been removed from its nest, you
can certainly pick up the baby and return it to its nest if possible. If
you are unable to find the nest or the nest is no longer intact, you
can place the baby in a shallow box with grass and place it near where
the baby was found (in a tree for birds, on the ground for baby
mammals). Then, out of sight, you can once again monitor the make-shift
nest for the mother to return.
Unfortunately, you may also find a
baby animal that is injured. According to Rivas, "If the animal appears
to have broken a bone, is very cold, is bleeding, or has been attacked
by a predator, the baby animal needs medical attention."
There are many wildlife rehabilitators
throughout the country who know how to care for an injured baby animal
and ready it for release back into the wild once it has healed. To find a
wildlife rehabilitator, you can call your state wildlife agency, a
local veterinarian, humane societies, Audubon societies, animal control
officers, or the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
If you are unsure whether an animal is
old enough to survive on its own or needs medical attention, then it is
best to contact a wildlife rehabilitator before removing it from the
area where you found it.
"Remember," Rivas stresses, "any baby
animal's best chance for survival is with its mother in the wild." If
you have any questions about orphaned animals, contact your local
veterinarian or visit the website of the University of Illinois Wildlife
Medical Clinic at vetmed.illinois.edu/wmc/.
Veterinary Extension/Office of Public Engagement
University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine
News writer: Julia Disney