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Animal Bites

Also called: Cat bites, Dog bites

Wild animals usually avoid people. They might attack, however, if they feel threatened, are sick, or are protecting their young or territory. Attacks by pets are more common. Animal bites rarely are life-threatening, but if they become infected, you can develop serious medical problems.

To prevent animal bites and complications from bites

  • Never pet, handle, or feed unknown animals
  • Leave snakes alone
  • Watch your children closely around animals
  • Vaccinate your cats, ferrets, and dogs against rabies
  • Spay or neuter your dog to make it less aggressive
  • Get a tetanus booster if you have not had one recently
  • Wear boots and long pants when you are in areas with venomous snakes

If an animal bites you, clean the wound with soap and water as soon as possible. Get medical attention if necessary.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 11/23/2020.
This page provides information for Animal Bites.
Animal Diseases and Your Health
Cat Scratch Disease
Insect Bites and Stings
Monkeypox Virus Infections
Rabies
Spider Bites
Tick Bites

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