Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Dog Bite Prevention Week

I remember when I was five years-old. I adored my aunt's dog. He was small, white and fluffy. I always loved dogs at a young age. Once when he was sleeping, I decided to pet him and wanted to keep doing it. He was not wanting the attention and gave me a tiny bite on my left hand. I didn't cry but was surprised instead. My dad wound up admonishing me for not leaving the dog alone when I should have. Although one can barely see it, I have a tiny scar from that day and when I glance at it, I remember.

Bite Prevention Week will be from May 16th to May 22nd. In the United States, the Center for Disease Control website states that there are 4.5 million dog bites in a year. Children are the majority of these.

How To Prevent A Child From Being Bitten

Children do not realize fully of how cause a dog to bite. They just love the dogs and enjoy their company. Here are some precautions that you can take:

  • Know How To Approach
  • So many times, a kid will run up to a dog and want to pet them. Dogs can easily misconstrue this as an attack and will bite as a defense mechanism. Whenever I encounter a child when I'm walking my dogs and they ask to pet my dogs, I always tell them to put their hand in front of them so the dog can sniff them. It is a gentle, non-confrontational way to meet.
  • Don't Hug A Dog
  • Some dogs do not mind a hug from children but for most, it's too much of an invasion of their personal space. When dogs feel crowded they will feel the need to fight back to regain that personal space. Instead, a child should rub the side of their neck or glide their hand lightly along their stomach.
  • Never Wake A Sleeping Dog
  • Ever been startled out of a deep sleep? Whenever that happens to me, I feel a little grouchy at the very least. One can only imagine what a dog feels if that were to happen. Let sleeping dogs lie is a well-known phrase that definitely applies when kids are considering doing this.
  • Stand Like A Tree
  • If a dog starts chasing children or growling at them, the best way for a child to avoid an attack is to stand still with their feet together and their hands at their side. Also, don't make eye contact. It's an invitation for a dog to fight.
  • Know The Right Games
  • Dogs love to play just as much as many children do. Games like Tug Of War or Chasing A Dog, actually encourage aggressiveness, which can lead to biting. Instead, have the child play games like Hide and Seek or Fetch. Those are games that are based on teamwork and the dog will not feel as threatened.

Learn More About Bite Prevention

Dog Gone Safe is an excellent website that specializes in dog bite prevention. They are a great resource for this topic. If you would like to see their website, you can find it here.

Let's Discuss!

What are your dog bite prevention tips?

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