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Dog Bite Prevention Week starts next Sunday, April 10th. This subject could definitely use some attention. The CDC estimates that there are about 4.5 million dog bites in America every year. That’s about 1 out of every 73 people! Many of these bites could have been avoided! This is one area where an ounce of prevention can be worth several pounds of cure. A local veterinarian lists some ways to prevent dog bites below.
This is considered the universal way to introduce yourself to a dog. There are some caveats here, however. Always get permission first. Also, never reach over Fido’s head. Don’t shove your hand out too quickly or too close to his face, either. Greet the pup in a friendly voice as you are doing this.
This is not only dangerous, it’s also bad etiquette! Of course, children may not understand why it may not be safe to pet a strange dog. If you have kids, talk to them about this. It’s also important to let them know that if they see a stray or hurt dog, they should get help from an adult.
Did you know that staring translates into a sign of aggression in doggy language? Your own canine buddy 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.
Never leave young ones alone with a dog! Some dogs are quite reactive, while others get uneasy around children. Kids can get loud and excitable; that’s just par for the course. They can also easily agitate dogs, whether by running towards them, making unexpected movements, or pulling their tails. Toys, particularly stuffed animals, can also be a source of conflict. Fido may be very interested in a child’s plushie, or vice versa. That could definitely set the stage for trouble!
You may have heard people say that dogs ‘attacked suddenly and without warning.’ However, not always the case. Usually, dogs give off plenty of warnings: it’s just that people don’t know how to read them. Most people understand that growls are bad. However, that isn’t the only signal 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!