Keep Safe 5 Tips Every Parent Should Know to Avoid Dog Bites

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Keep Safe 5 Tips Every Parent Should Know to Avoid Dog Bites

by Kate Garvey



Dogs bite when they feel threatened, are in pain, or when they are trying to protect their ?turf? or guardian. The turf can be a yard, car, office or home. The guardian can be the adult responsible for the pet or a young child. There are several preventive tips parents can use themselves and teach children to keep the whole family safe.

1. Never go face to face with a dog. Many people like to look a dog in the eye and put their face next to the dog for kisses. Even with familiar dogs this is a horrible habit. Dogs are pack animals by nature. Even with the nicest dogs this action can trigger a perceived threat and possible bite to the face. Within the pack, dogs use eye to eye, and face to face gestures to determine the pack leader.

2. Don?t reach for a dog. When visiting a friendly dog, even if you?ve been with the dog on several other occasions, don?t reach for the pet. Allow the dog to come to you and smell you. Keep your fingers in a gentle balled fist. If the dog is happy to see you, slowly and gently rub its head with you balled fist. If the dog is still happy, then it?s ok to pet with fingers extended. By allowing the dog to come to you, you are letting the dog know, you pose no threat.

3. Gently ball your fists when meeting or greeting a friendly dog. Keeping your fingers in a fist protects you and your children. If a dog tries to bite and the hand is open, the dog can easily grab hold of a finger or thumb and cause damage. Extensive and irreparable nerve damage can occur to an open hand. When the hand is in a fist, most dogs have a difficult time getting their mouth around the fist. If a dog still manages to bite your fist, your fingers and thumb are protected.

4. Be more vigilant as your dog ages. As a dog ages, it may develop painful conditions, such as arthritis. Even the nicest dog can react with a quick bite if a child or adult touches a sensitive area, or the dog is not feeling well. Keep this in mind when you have company and ask them not to pet your dog, or educate them as to safe ways to pet your dog.

5. If you are walking and an aggressive dog runs at you do the following: Stand perfectly still, ball your hands into fists and hold them tight to your sides or cross them tightly over your chest, look away from the dog at all times. If you are walking with a young child, turn the child?s body and face into your body, ball your fists and hold your child?s head tight into your body or thighs, stand still and look away from the dog at all times. Make sure your child?s face is buried in your body and that your child cannot look at the dog. Talk quietly and calmly to your child as you continue to look away from the dog. Picking up your child can increase danger because a child?s dangling feet are an easy target for an aggressive dog. The aggressive dog will run right up to you, may even jump on you, and bark ferociously, but as long as you do not move, the dog will realize you are not a threat. Eventually the dog will quit barking and walk away. No doubt, this is a terrifying experience. Your instincts tell you to run, but running is the easiest way to trigger an attack. Once the dog walks away, slowly walk away. If the dog returns, repeat the process. If you live in an area with weak leash laws, create safety songs for children so that they will know what to do when a dog approaches them. It would also be good to practice what to do when an aggressive dog approaches you or your child.

Keep these tips in mind and you?ll greatly reduce your likelihood of being bitten by a dog.

Kate Garvey is the owner of Right for You-Professional Writing Services. She writes for magazines, newspapers, individuals and business. Areas of expertise include pet care, business, technology, real estate, alternative healing, and research. She is an animal rights supporter and is actively working on a series of pet booklets. http://www.kategarvey.net



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