With summer officially here and more people out enjoying the nice weather, the health unit is urging a bit of ‘critter’ caution.

The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit is urging people to reduce their exposure to animals that could bite or spread rabies. This word of warning includes wild animals like raccoons and bats, as well as dogs, cats and other pets.

In 2017, the health unit investigated 388 suspected rabies exposure cases involving animals in Haliburton County, Northumberland County and the City of Kawartha Lakes.  Almost two-thirds of cases, or 249 investigations, involved dogs.

The health unit says pet owners should also be responsible by making sure their animals are leashed, under control, and discouraged from running free unless they are in a designated dog park. This may also reduce their exposure to wild animals that may have rabies. Regular rabies vaccination of pets is also essential.