A dog is a welcome member of a family. This pet brings cheer and laughter in a rather uneventful home. Plus, it will protect its master at all costs. Yet, did you know that up to 4.7 million Americans get a dog bite each year? Half of these persons are children. What would cause a rather friendly pet to bite someone? Well, the bottom line is, a dog that feels threatened will resort to biting. Then, how can you safeguard yourself and your family from dog bites? Here is a quick guide:
1. Train Your Dog
Start by socializing your dog. Let it know you mean no harm. Include the dog in your daily routines so that it feels part of the family. Next, use clear commands to train the dog for an appropriate response. If possible, get a dog trainer to assist you. Third, keep up to date with your pet’s vaccinations. More so, ensure that it has acquired its rabies shot. Finally, get it neutered.
2. Supervise the Dog When Kids Are Around
You should never leave your dog unattended near a child. For, the child may poke or startle the dog. Or, the child may run away from the dog, provoking it to bite him. Or, the dog can overpower and injure the child. Check out the Lamber Goodnow Site for a detailed discussion on the legal implications of dog bites.
3. Be Observant
A dog that is about to bite someone displays some clear signs. First, the dog may have its tail under its legs. Second, its back is in cower positions. Plus, its ears appear flattened. All these are indications that the dog senses danger and has the urge to defend itself.
4. Never Provoke a Dog
Dogs value their own time. For example, if your surprise a sleeping dog, it can bite you. Likewise, a dog that is protective of its litter can cause catastrophic injuries to you. And, it will defend its territory when feeding. Hence, ensure you give the dog ample space to behave like a dog.
5. Mistreating a Dog
Any fearful dog will bite anyone it encounters. For example, if the dog is abandoned or abused by its owner, it’s most likely to bite. Or, if you make sounds or noises that remind it of the abuse, it will bite you. Hence, keep off from stray dogs. Instead, report any dog that looks like its owners are mistreating it.
6. Opt For a Family-Friendly Breed
Some dog breeds are more hostile than others. Such dogs, like the pit bull and the German shepherd, are excellent security dogs. If you pick such kinds as a pet, they can bite you. Such breeds are so dangerous, and there are recorded cases of wrongful deaths due to mauling. Hence, ask a veterinarian to recommend the best dog breed for your family.
7. Petting a Stranger’s Dog
Never pet a stranger’s dog without permission, even if it looks friendly. More so, avoid the head, face, and tail areas. A dog has to sniff and accept the stranger’s gestures before it calms down and agrees with the petting.
In case your dog bites you, stay calm. At the same time, be swift to get out of the danger. Then, hurry and confine the dog. Treat the wound with some antiseptic from your first aid kit as you make plans to get to a hospital. Proceed and alert the local authorities about the incident. Then, share this information with your local community.