Tips to prevent getting bitten by a dog
Dog bites are becoming an increasing worry for the general public as the number of attacks in recent months has risen considerably. Each year over 200,000 people in the UK are bitten by dogs with over 80% of all bites reported at NHS hospital being caused by dogs. It is important as the summer approaches and more people plan to spend time outdoors that we learn how to protect ourselves and families around dogs in a big to help prevent future dog bites.
It is essential that all dog owners and non dog owners understand that any dog no matter their size or breed can bite. Some dogs do not bite out of aggression but if they feel threatened, startled, ill, hungry or tired can bite. Follow the next few steps to help protect you against dog bites.
1. Always ask the dog’s owner before touching the dog – even if it’s a breed you love and know well, this dog may be different. Ask the owner if the dog is okay to pet.
2. Avoid eye contact with the dog – staring at dogs make them feel threatened which could cause them to lash out.
3. Do not run away from a dog – dogs instinct is to chase things and by running you will only be encouraging being chased and caught.
4. Stand still and look disinterested – if you do not look interesting to the dog, they will more than likely get bored of you quickly.
5. Never interrupt a dog – whether they are sleeping, eating or drinking do not interrupt them.
6. Never leave your children alone with an animal no matter how well you know the dog – if you they want to spend time with a dog be there to supervise and ensure they are not mistreating the dog or pulling their ears or tails.
7. If your child plays with a dog, ensure it’s a dog friendly game such as throwing and getting a ball. Children should not play aggressive games with dogs such as wrestling and this could result in the dog lashing out at the dog.
8. Never let your children discipline your dog or others – dog training should begin from a young age and you should always be seen as the dog’s owner and the one to train the dog.
9. Never try to pet a dog that is in a contained area such as garden or cage. Dogs will see this area as their personal space and that should be respected.
10. Do not tease dogs with dog and treats. Treats should be given to dogs as praise not used to tease them.
Be aware that in the summer there will be more dogs out in public and you should ensure your children are kept safe around you and do not wander up to strangers dogs. Most people will have trained their dogs however others haven’t and not all dogs will welcome visitors.