The warming weather means getting outside more with our dogs. It’s a great time of year, but it also brings with it some dangers to keep in mind. With more dogs and people out and about, there is a greater chance of dog bites occurring. These simple tips will help you avoid dog bites, both as the victim and as a dog owner.
Introduce Your Puppy to Other People and Animals
It’s important to socialize your dog when it’s young. By introducing your dog to other people and dogs during its formative years, you can help reduce social stress later on in its life.
Learn How to Interpret Dog Behavior
All dogs can bite, even the most well-behaved. Dogs tend to bite when they feel threatened, scared, or cornered. If you are in a situation like that with a dog, it’s important to recognize the threat that the dog feels, and calm the situation.
Avoid Dogs in Situations that Commonly Lead to Bites
There are times when you just shouldn’t pet or approach a strange dog. This includes when its owner isn’t around, when it’s eating or sleeping, on the other side of a fence, playing with a toy, or when it seems agitated.
Teach Kids How to Treat Dogs
Having dogs and small children can be challenging. It’s easy for young kids to treat a dog like a toy or stuffed animal. Teach kids to be gentle with dogs. Let them know that they should never ride or sit on a dog or pull its hair, ears, or tail. This will be an ongoing teaching process. You should never leave small children and dogs together unattended.
Be Cautious When Approaching Strange Dogs
Always ask the owner of a dog you don’t know if you can pet their dog. When you have permission, approach slowly and extend the back of your hand rather than the palm. Remember to observe the dog’s behavior and stop approaching if it seems stressed.
Ask your veterinarian for additional tips for avoiding dog bites. You can learn more about how to train and socialize your own dog, and you can learn more about how to avoid dangerous situations with dogs you don’t know.