The last thing a responsible pet owner wants is for their beloved pet to meet an untimely end or hurt someone else. Yet, every year, 6.5 million wind up at a shelter and 1.5 million of those shelter animals are euthanized. A common thought regarding caged animals is that they must be sick or dangerous. While that can’t be further from the truth, animals are still creatures of instinct. This is especially true for dogs. So while you may adore your beloved pooch and he may seem harmless, one wrong move could potentially lead to a painful or permanent end for a family member or loved one. Here are some simple tips for avoiding a dog bite and helping your favorite furry friend remain part of your family for many years to come.
Never Disturb or Frighten a Dog
Children between the ages of five and nine are the most common recipients of dog bite injuries. Men of any age are the second most common group. But an injury doesn’t necessarily mean it’s time to send your pooch packing. While dogs may seem intelligent and easily trained, behaviorists believe a typical adult dog’s mental age is equivalent to that of a three-to-five-year-old child. And unlike young human children, a dog’s teeth are meant to chew through bone. So never disturb or frighten a dog, especially when eating, playing with toys, taking care of its pups, behind a fence, or in a car.
Be Still if an Unfamiliar Dog Approaches You Off of a Lead
A strange dog may look harmless and sweet, but that can quickly change. The best thing to do when approached by a random or potentially aggressive dog is to stand still like a tree. Do not reach for the dog or make eye contact. Chances are the dog will realize you’re not a threat and either become friendly or walk away. If you fall over, curl up like a rock. By then, help will either likely arrive or the dog will move on.
Avoid Dogs Who Are Angry or Scared
Dogs and humans communicate in completely different languages, but dogs tend to provide physical signs or warnings that trouble is ahead. Those must be heeded to avoid potential injuries or worse. When dogs are angry, they’ll show or bare their teeth. When dogs are scared, on the other hand, they’ll arch or curl their backs, stick their tails between their legs, and attempt to run away. At no time should any untrained or unassociated human attempt to discipline or control an angry or scared dog.
Follow the Rules for Approaching Any Dog
Even if a dog seems nice, it can turn at any time. Always approach quietly and slowly. As excited as you may be, the squeals, tears, and baby talk will scare the animal and likely set them into protective mode. Instil in your kids the rule that permission is required on your end and the end of the dog family’s to approach any dog, even if they’re familiar with the animal. Let the dog sniff your hand first, and always gently stroke the back before scratching the ears or any other part of the dog’s body.
Around 4.5 million dog bites occur in America annually, and 20% of those end up infected. There’s never a reason to put your security or your loved one’s safety at risk. Following the above suggestions will help ensure you and Fido will have a long and healthy relationship. But if a random dog injury still occurs, be sure to contact your Michigan dog bite attorney to help reduce stress and unnecessary financial worries during the healing process.