8 ways to possibly prevent dog bites

Dogs are known as man’s best friend, but even the best of friends can have a bad day. Dog bites are no laughing matter, and they can happen to anyone, no matter how experienced you are with dogs. That’s why it’s important to learn how to prevent dog bites and avoid those rough situations.

Education is key

Preventing dog bites starts with education, and it’s never too early to teach your child about dog safety. Teaching your child to avoid strange dogs, to ask for permission before petting a dog, to never disturb a dog who is sleeping, and how to take care of a puppy is a great place to start. You need to teach them how to look out for warning signs and avoid any risky behaviour.

But dog bite prevention is not just for kids. Adults need to be aware of their actions too. It’s never a good idea to approach a growling or barking dog or try to take away his food or toys. Additionally, teasing dogs, pulling their tails or ears, or attempting to ride or climb on them is a no-go. You don’t want to be the person who thinks they’re hilarious and ends up getting bitten.

Warning

Dogs often give warning signs before they bite, like growling, barking or showing their teeth. These are signs that it’s time to give the dog some space and avoid any actions that might escalate the situation. And just like you would seek help for someone in need, if you encounter an unknown dog who is aggressive or seems to be in distress, it’s best to contact a professional, like a reputable behaviourist, your local SPCA or a veterinarian.

Remember, when it comes to dog bite prevention, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Always ask for permission before approaching a dog, avoid staring directly into their eyes and never approach a dog from behind.

8 important tips

Although there is never a guarantee that you will be able to prevent dog bites, there are things to keep in mind:

  1. First and foremost, avoid acting like prey. Running or screaming around dogs can trigger their prey drive, causing them to chase after you like they would chase after a squirrel.
  2. When interacting with dogs, be aware of your body language. Avoid staring them down or standing over them, as this can be perceived as threatening. Unless, of course, you’re trying to assert dominance over a Chihuahua, then, by all means, stand tall and make eye contact.
  3. Never leave a child unsupervised with a dog, even if the dog seems as friendly as a Golden Retriever at a family picnic. Remember, dogs are still animals with instincts that can kick in at any time.

Would you like to read the rest of this interesting article? Get the June 2023 edition of Animaltalk magazine from retailers, or order a printed or digital copy from www.coolmags.co.za.

 

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