Teens,dogs and cats may not be as safe as you think, new research suggests.
Animal welfare group Peta says it has collected data on petting zoos around the world, which shows the vast majority of animals are safe.
It’s based on an analysis of veterinary data collected in the US, Canada, China and France.
The group’s research suggests petting animals in Australia can be as good as or better than keeping them in a home.
The study found that petting is not only less risky, but also more humane than keeping the same animals in a petting home.
It found the best results were obtained when animals were given lots of affection and affectionate play.
Petting can also be done in a secure environment, where a pet’s behaviour can be monitored and controlled.
It has also been suggested petting with toys, rather than a human, could be a way to avoid potentially harmful behaviour.
Pet owners can choose to have the pet sit on their lap or sit in a comfortable chair.
They can also choose to give the animal a toy, or a face to mouth petting.
Dr Sarah Lechleitner, senior researcher at Peta, said she is concerned that we are still failing to understand what a safe environment is like for our pets.
“Most pet owners who have had pets for a long time don’t realise how stressful that is for the animal, and that’s one of the reasons why they don’t have their pets with them for longer,” she said.
“We know it’s stressful for them and for their families, but how does it actually work?”
Petting zoo vets have been told to not treat their animals too affectionately and to keep their pets’ behaviour under control.
Dr Lechkeitner said the research does not take into account whether the petting environment is “natural” or not.
“What’s interesting is that pet owners are often really concerned that pet dogs are in a good environment and will be happier if they’re in a natural environment,” she explained.
“It’s not necessarily a bad thing if the animals are in the right environment, but if it’s a natural situation then that’s something that pet-owners should take into consideration.”
If you do the research you will see that most of the time it’s not a bad idea to give your pet a little affection, and it’s important to give them a good experience.