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Teaching Children About Dog Bite Prevention

We’re the first to admit, dogs can be some of the best pets. They offer loyalty, companionship, security and unconditional love, plus they’re adorable. The problem is, dogs can be dangerous, especially to children. Unfortunately, a good deal of this “dangerousness” stems from dogs’ interactions with humans. We’re referring to a neglect, animal abuse, and a lack of socialization. Often, neglect and abuse are clearly evident in the behavior of rescue dogs.

Of course, a dog does not have to be a shelter animal to snap and bite someone. Dogs who are afraid, and dogs who are eating, caring for puppies, or chewing a dog toy can be easily startled and bite. Or, they can bite when they’re provoked.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), “Each year, more than 4.5 million people in the U.S. are bitten by dogs.” The AVMA goes on to say that each year, “more than 800,000 Americans receive medical attention for dog bites; at least half of them are children.”

Safety Tips to Help Protect Children

Parents, grandparents, and legal guardians should teach these dog bite prevention tips to children in their care:

  • Do not scream or run past a dog. Dogs have a natural instinct to chase and can become aggressive if you do this.
  • Never approach a dog that is eating, caring for puppies or chewing a bone.
  • Never pet a dog who is behind a fence or inside a car. Dogs are territorial and will try to protect their space.
  • If a dog is loose and approaches you, do not run. Stand still like a tree. The dog should sniff you and when they lose interest, walk away.
  • If you are approached by an aggressive dog, do not run. Do not scream. If you speak, use a calm but firm voice. Stand still and do not make eye contact. When the dog leaves, slowly back away.
  • If a dog knocks you to the ground, curl up like a ball and place your hands over your ears and neck. Try to protect your face.

If a dog bites you or a child in your care, confine the dog immediately. Check on the dog’s vaccination status and seek medical attention at once. The dog should be seen by a veterinarian to ensure he or she is healthy and does not have rabies or an infection that could be affecting his or her behavior.

To file a dog bite claim, contact us anytime at (518) 374-8494!