Birthday parties

Parents: Did you know that the Greater Moncton SPCA hosts children's birthday parties?

For a fee, we will provide a party room, some games, a tour of the shelter and (if available) play time with some animals.
Parents supply the cake, decorations and party favours.

Contact us at (506) 857-8698 for more information.

Safety tips for children and pets

Courtesy of: Healthy Newfoundland and Labrador

Pets can be valuable members of the family. A pet can help children learn to be gentle and patient, and how to care for a animal. But animals can also be a safety risk, especially for infants and toddlers.

If you don’t already have a pet, it’s a good idea to wait until your children are at least five years old before getting one. If your family includes both pets and young children, it’s important to make sure that the animal doesn’t injure your child.

Choosing a pet carefully, supervising children around pets and teaching children how to act around animals can prevent injuries.

Safety Check
  • Pets can be jealous: watch animals closely if you have a new baby in the house
  • Don’t leave a baby or young child alone with a pet
  • Always supervise children around dogs and other animals
  • Keep a pet’s food and toys away from children
  • Train dogs to obey simple commands from all family members
The facts on pet safety
  • Children between the ages of one and four are most likely to require hospital care for dog bites
  • Dog bites are usually caused by an animal known by the child. In fact, they often happen in the child’s own home with the family pet
Teach children to:
  • Treat animals with respect and kindness
  • Handle pets gently
  • Wash their hands well after handling pets
  • Recognize signs of aggression or anger in a dog
Teach children not to:
  • Disturb a sleeping animal
  • Tease an animal
  • Pull an animal’s ears or tail
  • Take away a pet’s food
  • Put their fingers or face near a dog’s mouth
  • Approach a stray dog or cat
  • Touch or pick up wild animals (squirrels, birds, mice)
  • Try to stop animals fighting

However, keep in mind that most children under the age of five will not always understand or remember instructions. Keeping them safe is still an adult’s job!

Choosing a pet for a home with young children

If you’ve decided to add a pet to your family, it’s important to remember that some animals are more likely than others to cause injury or illness. The following tips can help you choose an appropriate pet for a family with young children.

Dogs

Dogs trained to be aggressive or to work as guard dogs may be dangerous to children. Choose a dog with a calm, patient temperament. Spaying or neutering a dog may reduce aggressive behaviour.

Cats

Cats do not smother babies by lying on them, despite an old myth about this. But cats can scratch. Keep a cat’s nails trimmed short. Also, keep the cat’s litter box out of a child’s reach and cover children’s sand boxes when not in use to prevent cats from using them as litter boxes.

Small animals

Small mammals such as hamsters, guinea pigs, gerbils and rabbits can make good household pets. However, they are easily hurt if dropped or squeezed and tend to nip or bite, so these animals may not be suitable for families with very young children.

Fish

Fish in an aquarium can be fun for children to watch and don’t require a great deal of space. Be sure to place fish tanks where children can’t climb up, fall in or pull the tank over on themselves.

Pets that are not recommended

Not recommended as pets for children are reptiles including snakes, lizards, salamanders. Turtles can transmit salmonella bacteria and should not be kept as pets.

Health problems caused by pets

Occasionally, pets can cause other health problems. Psittacosis is an infection carried by some birds which can cause pneumonia in people. Dogs or cats may carry ringworm infections or parasites. Cats may also carry toxoplasmosis, an infection that can harm human fetuses. Pregnant women should avoid exposure, especially to cat feces in litter boxes.

Your veterinarian or doctor can answer questions about any pet health risks for children and adults in your family.