Prevent Animal Bites and Scratches

Don’t put yourself in a situation where an animal could bite or scratch you. You could be injured or end up with a serious disease like Rabies.

  • Do not touch or feed any animals, including dogs and cats. Even animals that look like healthy can have Rabies or other diseases.
  • Supervise children carefully when they are around animals.
  • Be cautious when entering caves or other places where bats might nest.
  • Be sure you are up to date with Tetanus vaccination.

If you come into contact with the saliva of or are bitten or scratched by a dog, bat, or other mammal:

  • Assume that you could be infected with Rabies, which is preventable if it is attended to quickly but fatal if it is not treated.
  • Wash the wound well with soap and rinse with lots of water.
  • See a doctor at a reputable clinic immediately. You will need a series of Rabies vaccinations and post-exposure immune globulin.

If you are having difficulty getting Rabies treatment, contact:

For more information about Rabies and travel, see:

For more information about how you can protect yourself from other risks related to animals, see the CDC’s chapter on Animal-Associated Hazards.