13 Pets That Can Be Surprisingly Dangerous for Kids

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According to US News, almost half of American households have a pet dog that they consider to be a true member of the family. However, more than 50,000 kids get bitten by a pet dog every year. Even though the number itself is frightening, we must look into the matter further and see which breeds are most likely to attack a child. We must also learn about what other animals aren’t safe to keep around as pets when there’s a kid in the house.

Bright Side searched and found 13 animals that are the least safe to keep around the house when you have kids and a few of them will come as a total surprise.

1. Turtles

In February 2018, a 3-week-old infant died of salmonella after coming into contact with a pet turtle and 11 more infants became sick from the same strain. Turtles are responsible for 6% of the total number of salmonella-related deaths in the US. This is serious proof that kids and infants should never come in touch with turtles since the danger of contracting salmonella is very high.

2. Ferrets

While ferrets are cleaner than most dogs and cats, multiple litter boxes need to be spread around the house. When there is a little child in the house, this means that they could be playing in the boxes and contract various germs. Also, some ferrets are very sensitive to certain high-pitched noises and a baby’s cry can agitate them. These animals are also known to have attacked and injured various children.

Snakes are considered to be some of the scariest creatures around, but they only bite people and kids if provoked. Due to kids’ curiosity and playfulness, a snake might feel threatened and bite them if a kid accidentally steps on it or tries to grab it forcefully. If you insist on keeping a pet snake, you should always keep it in a cage when your kid is present or at least supervise the environment when taking the snake outside its cage.

While Chow Chows look cute and harmless, they’re the exact opposite. They are very temperamental and can be provoked easily if someone invades their space. They will bite kids without hesitation if someone pokes or annoys them by pulling their fur. If the kid is older, you can teach them how to act around the dog and not agitate them. Keep in mind that a Chow’s unique temperament is not trainable at all.

Lizards pose the same danger for small kids as turtles do. Salmonella is at the top of the list of the possible viruses that can be contracted after coming into contact with a lizard. From 2010 to 2013, 175 kids and infants contracted salmonella and 48 of them had been in contact with reptiles — especially lizards. Experts advise people to immediately wash their hands after touching a lizard and avoid exposing kids under 1-year-old to reptiles at all costs.

Mice, domesticated or wild, eat around 15 to 20 times per day and produce 40 to 100 droppings per day. This means that a kid playing around the house will eventually come in touch with these dirty droppings, which carry over 200 human pathogens. This is a very high bet to take by keeping a pet mouse in the house, but if you insist, you should let your kid know that they must wash their hands thoroughly after touching the rodent.

Frogs are another source of salmonella according to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2011, 241 people reported being infected by salmonella after touching a frog and 2/3 of them were under 10 years of age. African frogs, in particular, are known to carry the salmonella strain, which is extremely easy for humans to catch, especially kids that have yet to develop a strong immune system. These frogs usually live inside water and are sold from pet stores all around the world.

3. Snakes

4. Chow Chow dogs

5. Lizards

6. Mice

7. Frogs

8. Chihuahua dogs

While Chihuahuas are cute and small, they are also very noisy and feisty. Due to their small size, they don’t like being poked, which is something that a small kid might do. This can result in the dog biting the kid or being extremely aggressive toward it. If you want a kid to co-exist with a Chihuahua, you need to train the dog while it’s still a puppy on how to react around children. You should also teach your kid about which things will annoy and aggravate the dog in order to avoid doing them.

There’s a misconception that small animals are easier for little kids to handle and we feel like we need to set the record straight. Guinea pigs have sharp nails and can easily scratch you if you annoy them, which might lead to infections by Staphylococcus. If contracted in children whose immune systems are still week, they can develop pneumonia, sepsis or serious bacterial infections. These animals can also spread salmonella and cause the flu in both kids and adults.

It is quite obvious why hedgehogs are dangerous around kids, with their quills being able to penetrate the skin so deeply. However, most people don’t know that this is not just a painful pinch, but also a way to transport certain bacteria germs that are known to cause fevers, stomach pains, and rashes. Families who wish to have a pet hedgehog should only do so if they have kids over 6-years-old after teaching them to be patient and gentle with the animal.

Iguanas fall into the same category as other reptiles who pose a tremendous danger for kids by spreading salmonella. There have been cases where kids became sick with bloody diarrhea and a fever caused by the salmonella strain contracted from a pet reptile. It’s best not to keep an iguana in the house with a small kid, but if you insist on having one, you can keep it in a room that your kid won’t have access to.

9. Guinea pigs

10. Hedgehogs

11. Iguanas

12. Dalmatian dogs

If there’s one word that could describe dalmatians perfectly, it’s “temperamental”. Due to their breeding process, they are not the most social dogs out there. This means that if not trained properly, they can bite a kid if they get poked or pet by them. Dalmatians should be trained from when they are still puppies and learn how to be sociable and co-exist with small kids. They need to be exposed to children to get to know how to act around them and not get annoyed by their enthusiastic behavior.

13. Rottweiler dogs

Rottweilers are not only potentially dangerous for kids, but also for adults if they’re not trained correctly. They’re confident and courageous, but can also be territorial and therefore, aggressive. Young children aren’t able to understand and respect the dog’s space, which might result in the dog attacking them. However, kids of older ages can co-exist with them if they’re taught how to act around them and when to leave them alone.

Which one of the above animals do you think is the most dangerous for a kid to live around? Please share your opinions with us down in the comments section.