Germ Illustration

Pets and Other Animals

  • Pets can be brought into child care centres for closely supervised visits, however there should be no permanent pets living at the child care centre. Many animals can carry diseases that people can get.
  • Pets may also cause difficulties for:
    • children, particularly those under 5 years of age;
    • children and staff who are allergic to animal fur, hair, saliva or dander;
    • children and staff with weakened immune systems;staff who are pregnant.

      Every licensee shall ensure that every dog and cat that is kept on the premises of a child care centre it operates or premises where it oversees the provision of home child care is inoculated against rabies. Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014

  • All animals that come to a child care centre must be healthy and have appropriate clearances from a veterinarian on an annual basis.
  • Hamsters, guinea pigs and degus and fish in aquariums make suitable pets in a child care setting.
  • Reptiles, especially turtles, are not acceptable pets for the child care setting; reptiles are known to carry Salmonella bacteria.
  • Kitchen areas must remain free from live birds and animals at all times as per the Ontario Food Premises Regulations.
  • Birds in cages, outside or inside, are not recommended in child care centres since they can attract mice with their bird seed and require extra housekeeping duties. Salmonella can be found in bird feces.


  • Hands must be washed thoroughly after handling a pet, its food or its belongings.
  • Do not allow children to kiss animals or put their face too close to a pet.
  • Never allow a child near a dog or cat while it is eating, drinking or sleeping.
  • Supervise children when they are handling pets.
  • Cages and aquariums must be kept in a clean, sanitary condition.
  • Never allow children to feed or touch an unknown warm blooded animal such as a dog, cat, or other animal that is not their own pet as any animal may bite.
  • Keep children away from stray dogs or cats, or wild animals such as raccoons, skunks, foxes and especially bats as they could be infected with rabies but not show any sign they are sick.
  • Educate children to leave stray animals and wildlife alone; an animal that appears friendly may still bite and healthy wild animals usually want to keep away from people (some animals like squirrels may be used to people but it is still best to keep away from them).
  • Report any unusual animal activity (animal acting unusually friendly/tame or is sick/aggressive) to the Huron County Animal Control, North (519.525.7402) and South (519.234.6879), or if there has been a bite or contact with a person to Huron Perth Public Health (1.888.221.2133).

Last modified: February 19, 2020