Parents, it’s really important to teach your children about how to properly handle dogs – especially with 4.5 million people bitten by dogs each year. Here are a few tips to help you keep your kids safe.
- Teach them how to pet gently: Kids can be rough with pets. Show them how to pet your dog. Don’t let them pull on ears or fur. Of course, no tail pulling. If you have a young child, you might let them use a stuffed animal for practice.
- No Fear: Please don’t bring your children up to fear all dogs. Teach them to respect all animals and their boundaries – not to run from them.
- Strange Dog? If you meet a strange dog and the owners are not present, you should take care. Keep calm, and using a loud, firm voice, tell the dog to “go home”. If he doesn’t leave, don’t panic. The do may just be curious. You’ll know this by his posture — ears perked, tail wagging and relaxed stance. If this is how he looks, just walk away calmly. Again, do not run.However if its ears are laid back along his head, his body tense, his tail up, this a threatening posture. Tell him to “Go lay down” in a firm voice, do not yell, do not scream. Any sudden move on your part may trigger an attack. Start to walk away slowly. Do not make any sudden moves. If he starts to advance on you, and lunges, drop into a “turtle” position, and yell for help. Parents, if you come across your child in this position, do whatever you have to do to get the dog away.
- Never Run: Running will only trigger a “prey” response, and a dog that may have been content to sit and watch will suddenly chase. Even a dog whose only intent is to “play” may cause devastating results when the “prey” is caught.
- Never Approach a Dog When He is Eating: ‘nuff said.
- Never Leave Your Child With a Dog Unattended: Accidents happen in the blink of an eye, and even the gentlest family dog will bite if he is in pain, or if he has just “had enough”.
- Finally, if you see a loose dog, or if a dog threatens you or your child, call Animal Control. Dangerous dogs are a menace. Don’t put up with it!
If you follow these guidelines, you will have a better chance of keeping your loved ones safe. That’s the key to a great summer!