Keeping our pets safe is a year-round job, with emphasis placed on the weather, holidays, and traveling. Pets chew up and eat things humans never would think of consuming. Sometimes we unknowingly give our pets human foods or medications that are deadly poison.

Dog Safety for Your Family

Dog safety awareness is an important part of San Francisco’s overall public health and safety, for both animals and people.  Teach your child early on about the appropriate ways to interact with a dog. Here are a few tips to ensure you and your family are safe around dogs:

  • Never approach an unaccompanied strange dog, especially if they are tied up, eating something, or cornered—just admire them instead.
  • Always ask their handler if you may interact with any dog. Let the dog or cat sniff the back of your hand, then pet them gently and slowly.
  • Avoid reaching your hand into their space. Instead, let the dog approach at their own pace.
  • Never interrupt a dog (or cat) that’s eating, sleeping, or taking care of its babies.
  • Avoid eye contact or approaching a dog head-on. Crouching down to their level is the best way to say hello.
  • Never reach over a dog’s head to pet them—wait until they approach you and then pet them on the side or under the chin.
  • Never hug, kiss, or restrain a dog—most dogs don’t enjoy this type of physical contact.
  • If your child loves animals, enroll them in a humane education program designed to teach compassion, appropriate boundaries, and ignite their passion in all things furry and feathered.

While it is a wonderful and rewarding to adopt an animal into your home, it is also important that everyone is prepared for it and that you make the right match for your household. At San Francisco Animal Care & Control, we will counsel you to find the right pet for your family.

Pet Safety Tips

Download the PDF (PDF)

Here are a few tips to keep in mind for your pet’s safety.

Travel tips
Use well-fitting collars and ID tags
Don't let your dog ride in an open truck bed
Keep head and paws inside the car
Keep cats in carriers
Supervise your pet’s playtime
Keep your cat indoors
Harmful foods and plants
Don’t use repellant meant for humans on your pet



Related Links:
Get Viewer (External Link)
How to Choose the Right Pet
Doggone Safe (External Link)
How to Love Your Dog – A Kid’s Guide to Dog Care (External Link)