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Can I go to the zoo while pregnant? [Free Printable]

Updated August 3, 2022

If you are a pregnant mom you may be wondering, can I go to the zoo while pregnant?

It is a very common question that pregnant women have.

You are not alone!



We asked our OB/GYN Dr. Doug Penta this question and he shared with us the following tips on safely visiting the zoo while pregnant.

Yes, you can go to the zoo during pregnancy. there are certain safety precautions you’ll want to take.

And, of course, talk to. your own Doctor or Midwife about your individual pregnancy and activities that are safe for you to do.

It is wise to avoid petting zoos during pregnancy. If you will be visiting a petting zoo, you should wear a good-fitting N95 mask and wash your hands as soon as you leave the petting zoo area.

When visiting a regular zoo, it is important to wash your hands as soon as you can or to use hand sanitizer once you leave.



can I go to the zoo while pregnant

Photo credit: Maternity Comfort Solutions


This was such a worry of mine during my first pregnancy.

I was a preschool teacher at the time and we had several zoo and farm field trips planned during the year.

I thought it was safe, but I wanted to be sure.

Feeling a little foolish I called my Doctor’s office and sheepishly asked the asked staff if it was OK to go to the zoo during my pregnancy.


Download your FREE Printable Zoo Visit Checklist HERE (No Email Required)


Can I go to the zoo while pregnant?

Yes, going to the zoo during pregnancy is a safe activity if you follow some simple guidelines.


  • Wear a comfortable pair of sneakers.

Zoos can involve LOTS of walking, sometimes on uneven terrain.

It is important to wear a supportive pair of sneakers and be aware that your center of gravity might be off due to your growing baby bump.


  • Pack easy-to-eat snacks.

Pick snacks that you know you like.

A trip to the zoo is not the time to be trying new foods or zoo food.

You don’t want to eat something that could you make you feel sick at the zoo.

Take food that you know is unlikely to upset your stomach. You want to try to make sure that your snacks have a carbohydrate, protein, and fat.

That will help keep your energy level up to see all the amazing zoo animals and help keep your blood sugar stable.

When I go to the zoo, I always try to bring snacks that include protein and a carbohydrate.

I might bring a sandwich, yogurt and fruit, and hummus and carrot sticks.

One of the things I’ve noticed when I go on trips to the zoo is how hungry and thirsty I get.

It is so important during pregnancy to keep yourself well-hydrated.

Bring a water bottle with you that you can re-fill as you need to.


Snacks to take to the zoo during pregnancy:

  1. Whole-grain crackers with nut butter or peanut butter
  2. Dry whole-grain cereal
  3. Bagel and cream cheese
  4. Pretzels with nut butter or cheese
  5. Hummus and carrot sticks
  6. Granola bars
  7. Apple chips
  8. Whole apple



can I go to the zoo during pregnancy

Photo credit: Maternity Comfort Solutions


  • Bring a water bottle and stay hydrated

As I mentioned above along with snacks bring water or a refillable water bottle.

Pregnant women need to drink 8-10 glasses of fluid a day.

If you are in your first trimester becoming dehydrated can make symptoms of morning sickness worse.

During your second or third trimester, dehydration can cause contractions.

Keep that water bottle filled!


  • Wear Pregnancy-safe Sunscreen to the zoo

One of the questions women often ask “Is it OK to be in the sun when pregnant?”

Yes. It is OK as long as you take some precautions.

Pregnancy makes your skin more sensitive to the effects of the sun.

That means you can burn more easily.

Use sunscreen with SPF 30 or more, and wear a hat when you are in outdoor areas of the zoo.

It’s not your imagination that your skin burns more easily during pregnancy.


  • Use hand sanitizer frequently during your zoo visit

Using an effective hand sanitizer is a great way to avoid colds and flu.

It is also an easy way to clean your hands when hand-washing is not an option.

Viral transmission to others is a serious concern and the best way to prevent the spread of infection is to wash your hands.


Free Printable zoo visit checklist:

zoo visit checklist

Download your FREE Printable Zoo Visit Checklist HERE (No Email Required)


  • Avoid touching or feeding any animals in the zoo.


If the zoo you are visiting offers a petting zoo, you should avoid going in and/or petting any of the animals.

I know it is tempting and so much fun to pet the lambs and goats

If you have to be around the petting zoo wear a mask and wash your hands as soon as you are out of the area.

Animal encounters can be educational and very popular at zoos, but save the close encounters for when you are not pregnant.


zoo during pregnancy

Photo Credit: Maternity Comfort solutions


  • Take frequent rest breaks.

Be sure you take rest breaks as you need to.

It is normal to feel tired during your first and third trimesters.

If you feel fatigued call it a day and go home.


What animals to avoid when pregnant?

When you visit the zoo while pregnant you should not go to the petting zoo or feed any animals.

It is best to skip out of any up-close animal experiences.

It is important that pregnant women avoid handing guinea pigs, mice, and rats if possible.

Rodents can carry LCMV which is a virus that can cause miscarriages and birth defects in humans.

There are zoonotic diseases that animals can transmit to humans, but the instances of that happening are quite rare.


Download your FREE Printable Zoo Visit Checklist HERE (No Email Required)


Final Thoughts

You can go to the zoo during your pregnancy.

Practice simple safety steps like hand washing, wearing a mask when indoors, avoiding the petting zoo, and staying well-hydrated.

It is important to wear comfortable shoes and to dress in layers when you go to the zoo.

Make sure you don’t touch any rodents including guinea pigs, rats, mice, or hamsters, though getting sick from them is extremely rare, it isn’t worth the risk with zoo animals.

Be sure to check with your doctor or midwife about what activities are safe during your pregnancy as every woman and pregnancy is different.



  • Doug Penta MD OB/GYN

    Dr. Doug Penta, MD - Co-Founder of Maternity Comfort Solutions Dr. Doug Penta, is a seasoned Obstetrician and Gynecologist with over 38 years of practice, co-founded Maternity Comfort Solutions to provide evidence-based pregnancy and parenting information. A Boston University alum and former Clinical Professor at Harvard, his articles on Maternity Comfort Solutions offer expectant mothers invaluable nutritional insights.

  • Sue Winters RN

    Sue Winters, RN - Co-Founder of Maternity Comfort Solutions Sue combines 20 years of nursing with a rich background in early childhood education. Co-founder of Maternity Comfort Solutions, her articles provide creative toddler activities and practical tips on pregnancy nutrition and baby shower planning, embodying her commitment to supporting families through early parenthood.

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