10 Tips for Being Safe Around Dogs

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10 Tips for Being Safe Around Dogs

by Dawn Arkin

You are out walking with your child when you come across a person walking a dog. Your child looks up and screams "doggie" and starts towards the unfamiliar animal. You have no idea if the dog is friendly or not and you grab your child before they get too close. You have avoided a potentially dangerous situation.

Dogs bite thousands of people a year. Some bites are from stray dogs, but some are from loved family pets. Many victims are children who just don't know how to approach a strange dog. How to you teach your children about dog safety so they don't become a statistic as well?

Children, as well as adults, need to learn that not all dogs are friendly. If more people would realize this there would be less dog bites each year. Here are some things to teach your child about dogs so they are less likely to be bitten.

1. Stray dogs should never be approached. Stray dogs are a fact of life. Unspayed or neutered stray dogs reproducing and lost pets make up the stray population. If you come across a stray dog, call animal control and let them know the animal's location. Stray dogs are never to be approached except by trained animal control personal.

2. If you are out walking and come across a dog on a leash, before approaching the dog you should ask the owner's permission. If the owner says no, respect their answer. They know their dog better than you do.

3. If given permission, allow the dog to sniff your open hand before attempting to pet him. Give the dog enough time to become comfortable with your scent.

4. Pet a new dog under the chin at first. That is the least threatening location. Petting a dog on the head can be considered a threat to the dog, so until he is comfortable with you just pet his chin.

5. Don't forget, even if a dog is wagging his tail, it doesn't mean the dog is friendly. Always lean on the side of caution.

6. If you are out walking and a dog approaches you off a leash or without an owner, stand very still. Don't move, don't speak; keep your hands at your sides and remain calm. Look around for the dog's owner.

7. If a dog runs up and knocks you down try to keep your neck covered with your arms and hands and lay still. You want to make it harder for the dog to bite you where he can do the most damage.

8. Don't try to pet a dog in a car or the back of a truck. Do not pet a dog through a fence or a crate. These are places a dog is comfortable and they might think you are threatening their home.

9. Never tease or throw things at a dog. Not only is this a sign of aggression, but you can hurt the dog and might make him attack.

10. One thing you should never do is take food from a dog. Dogs will not tolerate anyone taking food from them and will become aggressive to defend their possessions.

Being safe around dogs takes common sense and respect for our four-legged friends. Teaching your children to give them their space will help keep your kids safe from bites.

Dawn Arkin is a writer and animal lover who enjoys spending time with her pets. This article has been submitted in affiliation with http://www.PetLovers.Com/ which is a site for Pet Forums.

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