Dog Bite Prevention Tips: Child Safety Tips
One of the worst questions we are asked here at Kirrawee Vet Hospital is ‘if a dog bites a child does it have to be put down?’ Our answer is always to make sure that if you have dogs, any intention of getting a dog, or any exposure to dogs, always make sure that you teach your child how to act around them. It's important to teach your children how to act around the dog to avoid dog bite injuries and to protect the safety of your children and your beloved pooches. Here are 5 tips to prevent dog bites or any tension between your dog and your children.
Never Run Towards a Dog
The first tip is to never run towards a dog! Teach your child to always approach their dogs or any new dogs they may be exposed to, with a sense of calm. If your child runs towards a dog that is not familiar with them, the dog may become scared, anxious and unsure. This can lead to compromised safety of both your child and the dog.
Don’t Ride the Dog or Play Rough
This may seem obvious, but some parents still let their children ride their dogs. Your dog is not a horse! Teach the child to not only love your dog, but to respect him too and to always play gentle and with a sense of love.
Always Put Your Hand Out Before Touching Dogs
Just like any animal, it is key to offer a hand to a dog’s nose before you touch them. If you are a new presence around the dog, they will not know your scent. Letting them smell you first will build trust between you. If the dog reacts positively to the hand, you can pet him and move forward.
Never leave a child alone with a dog. Ever!
This tip is important when it comes to small children, no matter how calm or trusting you are of your dog. Having a dog in the house can be very exciting and it’s hard to leave your cutest BFF alone sometimes. But it is imperative, especially for the chaotic energy of children, that they are never left alone without supervision of an adult.
Look Out for Physical Signs of Stress
Children must leave a dog alone when it lifts its lips, growls, backs away, raises the hair on its back or stares at you. These are tell-tale signs that the dog is stressed, angry, confused, anxious or feeling protective. Teaching children these physical signs and to leave the dog alone when these signs happen, will potentially save your child from a dog bite (and the dog from unwanted stress).
For more dog bite prevention tips and child safety around dogs, feel free to get in touch with the locals at Kirrawee Vet Hospital. We are always happy to help and can advise you on keeping your pets safe around children.