Petting zoos allow your child to get up close and personal with various types of animals. This is often a small part of a larger zoo and many of the younger children really enjoy it. There are a variety of different pets there including miniature horses, goats, pigs, deer, and lambs. There many be pony rides offered as well at some of the different locations.
For many children a petting zoo can be their first real experience with animals other than family pets. Make sure that your child knows what to expect from the animals so they won’t be frightened. Some of the animals may be making noise to gain attention so let them know that is simply how the animals communicate. This can make the trip to the petting zoo even more fun for them.
It is a good idea to have your child finish all of their food and drinks before entering the petting zoo. Many animals are very curious about these items and they may help themselves to something in your child’s hand. Food should never be given to the animals unless it is approved by the petting zoo. In some instances you can buy crackers or other treats to feed to the goats. Those that are hungry will come forward and those that have had their fill will ignore the person offering it.
Some parents are very afraid of the germs that their child may get from a petting zoo. There have been some reports of E. coli outbreaks that have come from them. Yet these are isolated instances where the petting zoo hasn’t really been well cared for. If you are at a zoo setting then there are certain requirements in place for the quality care of all the animals they have on display.
These animals are well cared for and very clean and safe for your child to interact with. Most petting zoos also have hand washing stations with soap and water for them to clean up with afterwards. This is a something you should encourage your child to do at the end of the time they are in the petting zoo. You can also carry your own hand sanitizer gel with you for them to use.