You want your child to enjoy dogs, but you also know some dogs bite kids who do not know how to behave around them. How do you keep your son or daughter from becoming a dog-bite victim?
The American Veterinary Medical Association offers tips for preventing dog bites in kids. Take steps to keep your child unharmed.
Know when to avoid dogs
No matter how gentle a dog may look, teach your children to avoid unattended dogs. The safest option for your child could be to leave the area entirely and alert animal control of unsupervised dogs.
Learn how to approach supervised dogs
When kids see a dog on a leash with its owner, they should ask the owner if they may pet the dog, not pet the dog first without asking permission. This applies to dogs who look friendly and dogs kids already know.
Understand how to deal with aggressive dogs
Your son or daughter could encounter a snarling dog baring its teeth. Teach your kids the right way to handle aggressive dogs, which means standing still with their hands clasped in front of them and assuming a defensive stance in the face of pursing dogs. They may need to protect their head and neck and curl into a ball if knocked down by a dog. When the chance presents itself, your child should quietly walk away from a hostile dog.
Leave sleeping dogs alone
No matter how much a child may want to play with a sleeping or crated dog, they should not disturb a dog in its crate. Dogs should have a space to themselves where no one disturbs them, and children must learn to respect this space.
Kids must remain gentle with dogs. Help teach them how to enjoy their four-legged companions and protect themselves.