Dog Bite Prevention Week starts on Sunday, April 10th. This is a very important topic! According to the CDC, there are around 4.5 million dog bites in the US every year. That works out to about 1 out of every 73 people! A local vet lists some ways to prevent dog bites below.
Never Pet A Strange Dog Without Asking
This one really should be common sense. It’s not only dangerous, it’s also just bad etiquette! Of course, children may not understand why this is unsafe: they just see a cute pup they want to be friends with. Take time to explain the dangers to your little ones.
Let Fido Sniff Your Hand
This is considered the universal way to say ‘hello’ to a dog. There are a few rules here, however. Get permission from the owner, and ask if the dog is friendly. Also, don’t reach over Fido’s head or move your hand out too quickly or too close to his face. Talk to the pup in a friendly voice as you are doing this.
Don’t Provoke Fido
Staring translates into a sign of aggression in dog terms? Your own pet probably won’t mind if you look at him, but you should never ever ever look a strange dog in the eye. Hugging Fido is also a huge no-no, as are barking or growling at him.
Supervise Children And Dogs
Never leave young ones alone with a dog! Some dogs are quite reactive, while others get uneasy around kids. Even the most well-behaved child can be a little loud and excitable at times. It’s also important to realize that children can easily agitate dogs, whether by running towards them, making unexpected movements, or pulling their tails. You’ll also need to be careful with toys, particularly stuffed animals: you don’t want Fido taking a child’s plushie, or a child taking Fido’s.
Understand Dogs’ Body Language
You may have heard people say that dogs ‘just attacked without any warning.’ However, that’s not always the case. Usually, dogs give off plenty of warnings: it’s just that people don’t know how to read them. We all know that growls and bared teeth are bad, but those aren’t the only signals Fido gives off. Slow tail wags, tucked tails, stiffness, and pinned ears are also red flags.
Do you have questions about your pet’s health or care? Contact us, your local animal clinic, today!