Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Prevent Dog Bites

Dogs earned their title of “Man’s Best Friend” because of their loyal and loving nature, but it’s important to remember that dogs are powerful animals that can cause serious injuries. The CDC reports that approximately 4.5 million Americans suffer dog bites each year, and nearly half of these victims are children.

There are few things kids love more than dogs, and because children are naturally curious and trusting, they often do not realize when dogs are showing signs of agitation or aggression.  Because of this, it is important to never leave your kids alone with a dog, even your own pet. There are also a number of safety tips you can teach your children to help avoid dog attacks.

Read our tips below to learn how to protect your children, what to do if you come across an aggressive dog, and how to prevent your dog from attacking others.

Dog Safety Tips to Teach Your Children

  • Never approach dogs you do not know
  • Never play with a dog unless you are with an adult
  • Never scream or run away from a dog
  • Avoid making direct eye contact with a dog
  • Never approach a dog that is growling or seems scared
  • Never pet a dog without first asking the owner for permission
  • Do not pet a dog unless it has seen and sniffed you first
  • Always be gentle when touching dogs
  • Never tease dogs, instead treat them nicely
  • If an unfamiliar dog approaches you, keep your arms at your sides and stay still
  • If a dog knocks you over, roll into a ball and stay still
  • If you see a dog wandering around or acting strange, tell an adult
  • Do not touch or bother a dog that is eating, sleeping, or taking care of puppies
  • If a dog bites you, tell an adult right away

What to Do When You Think a Dog May Attack

  • Stay quiet and stay where you are
  • Put your hands at your side, avoid eye contact with the dog, and don’t move
  • If the dog knocks you down or you fall, curl into a ball with your hands over your head and stay still
  • If the dog attacks, try to put your purse, backpack, jacket, bike, or anything else you have between yourself and the dog
  • When the dog loses interest in you, slowly back away until the dog is out of sight.

Prevent Your Dog from Attacking

  • Never leave your children alone with your dog. Kids don’t always understand that pulling a dog’s tail or ears, poking or climbing on a dog, or trying to take a dog’s food or toy can make it agitated and aggressive.
  • Spay or neuter your dog. Getting your dog fixed can help reduce its natural aggression.
  • Properly train your dog. No matter the breed or size of your dog, it is very important that it learns proper submissive behaviors and that any bad or aggressive behaviors are correctly addressed. If you are unable to train your dog yourself, hire a reputable trainer.
  • Don’t play aggressive games. Playing tug-of-war or wrestling with your dog can inadvertently teach aggressive behaviors and make the dog more protective of its toys.
  • Socialize your dog. It is important for dogs to spend time around other dogs and people from a young age so that they can get used to different situations. If the dog acts aggressively or exhibits bad behavior around other animals or people, correct the behavior right away.
  • Keep your dog’s personality in mind. No one knows your dog better than you. If your dog gets anxious around children, don’t take it to parks, don’t walk past schools, and don’t leave it in the front yard where kids could stick their hands through the fence.  If your dog is aggressive toward other people or panics around new people, leave it at home when you go to crowded places.
De Castroverde Law Group is a Las Vegas-based law firm that helps accident victims seek justice and recover fair compensation for their injuries. If you or a loved one was attacked by a dog, get in touch with our team to learn about your options.