Dog Bite Prevention Week starts April 10th. This is a very important topic! According to the CDC, there are about 4.5 million dog bites in the US every year. That works out to about 1 out of every 73 people! Because many of these bites could have been avoided, this is one area where an ounce of prevention is worth several pounds of cure. A local vet lists some ways to prevent dog bites below.
Never Pet A Strange Dog Without Asking
Honestly, 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, so it’s important to talk to them, and explain. Don’t just ask for permission to pet Fido: make sure he’s friendly.
Let Fido Sniff Your Hand
This is considered the universal way to say ‘hello’ to a dog. There are some caveats here, however. Never reach over Fido’s head, and don’t shove your hand out too quickly or too close to his face. Greet the pup in a friendly voice as you are doing this.
Supervise Children And Dogs
Never leave young ones alone with a dog! Some dogs are quite reactive, while others get uneasy around children, simply because children are often, by nature, a little loud and excitable. Kids can also unknowingly 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. Fido may be very interested in a child’s plushie, or vice versa. That could definitely set the stage for a conflict.
Don’t Provoke Fido
Did you know that 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 look a strange dog in the eye. Hugging Fido is also a huge no-no, as are barking or growling at him.
Understand Doggy Body Language
You may have heard people say that dogs ‘attacked without warning.’ However, that’s usually not 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!