National Dog Bite Prevention Week was last week but still wanted to share these important tips in choosing your dog if you have children.
I have to admit I didn’t know such a week existed, but keeping children safe is always a concern. In our home we have a lot of pets….it’s ridiculous really, but the kids, and me too, like it that way. My husband however doesn’t like dogs at all, he was attacked as a child and never fully recovered from the fear.
Our dog is a 14 pound Shih Zhu mix that loves our kids nearly as much as I do, but sometimes he gets way too excited and aggressive when playing. Though I am confident he wouldn’t ever intentionally bite or hurt his human siblings, that doesn’t mean he couldn’t accidently hurt them.
The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Veterinary Medical Association, and the US Postal Service have teamed up to educate families. Every year more than 4.7 million Americans are bitten by a dog and more than half are under age 14.
These tips are intended to help keep our kids safe from canine teeth.
- Pick a good match. Talk to your vet about the type of dog that would be a good fit for your family.
- Socialize your pet. Gradually introduce your puppy to a variety of situations, animals and people, so they are comfortable and at ease. Continue this as your dog gets older.
- Train your dog. Building a trust between man and animal through commands builds a bond of obedience.
- Avoid aggressive games like tug of war and wrestling.
- Neuter your dog. Neutered dogs are less likely to bite.
- Get your dog vaccinated.
- NEVER leave a baby or small child alone with a dog.
- Tell your child to never run past a dog or bother him while he is eating, sleeping, or caring for her babies.
- Instruct your child to always ask for permission of the owner before petting a dog, and let the dog sniff your hand before petting them; when petting a dog avoid the head, and tail.