Preventing Dog Bites: Steps for Pet Owners
Dog bites can be traumatic — and not just for the victim. Very often, dog owners are upset when their dog attacks someone else, especially if pet owners suspect that the victim provoked their pet, or they are facing legal action because of the dog bite.
Fortunately, there are several things that dog owners can do to prevent bites from occurring in the first place:
1) Take your dog to the vet.
Dogs are more likely to bite if they are in pain or ill. Be sure to take your pets to the vet regularly and keep them up-to-date on all vaccines and shots. If you notice any symptoms — such as sudden changes in appetite — take your dog to the vet immediately.
2) Get obedience classes.
Obedience classes for you and your pet help you communicate more effectively with your dog. They also help your dog learn good people skills, making biting less likely.
3) Address behavioral issues early.
If your dog shows any behavioral issues — such as aggression, barking or biting — address these issues immediately. Take your pets to the vet and get recommendations for obedience classes or other solutions. Usually, you can make positive changes that will keep your pet from acting aggressively in the future.
4) Don’t leave your dog unsupervised.
Even the best-behaved dog will lash out if someone teases them, attacks them or tries to take their food when they are eating. Unfortunately, children and strangers will sometimes tease an animal or mistreat it and will then turn around and accuse the dog of biting them unprovoked. Don’t let this happen to you and your family. Keep your dog indoors or supervised at all times. This will protect your dog from abuse and will protect you from unfounded allegations that your dog has bitten someone.
5) Teach your family about proper behavior around dogs.
Small children need to be taught not to approach a dog that is sleeping, eating or resting. They also need to be taught never to run away from a dog, as dogs will take this as a sign to give chase.
6) Socialize your dog.
Invite friends over to meet your dog and take your pet to the dog park so they can become familiar with other animals. Dogs that spend time with other pets and people have better social skills and may be less likely to bite.
7) If your dog shows any signs of aggression, take pre-emptive measures.
You might want to walk your dog only when the dog is wearing a muzzle and prevent your dog from running free in your yard or out in public.
Your dog is part of your family. You don’t want someone in your family to be accused of aggression, and you don’t want to lose your pet because someone makes a dog bite allegation. Take steps now to prevent pet attacks to keep all members of your family — the human and four-legged ones — safe. Call today.