Dog Bite Prevention: How to Protect Yourself and Your Kids
As the sunny days of summer arrive, more pet owners will be heading outdoors with their dogs. And while most of these pooches are warm and neighborly, it is important to know how to protect yourself and those around you in case a risky situation arises.
To recognize National Dog Bite Prevention Week, the American Kennel Club is working to educate people about how to avoid harmful encounters. Adults should be especially careful to make children aware of how to prevent dog bites.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 400,000 children seek medical attention for dog bites each year, and children are the most frequent victims of dog bites.
The American Kennel Club offers the following tips for kids on how to be safe around dogs:
1. Dogs are territorial creatures by nature and like their own space. If a dog is barking at you while you are in his territory (his yard or car for example) do not try and pet him.
2. Always ask a dog’s owner permission to pet the dog before you approach. Approach the dog slowly and let him sniff your hand first, and then pet him under the chin.
3. If you encounter a lost dog, do not run towards or away from him. Be still and back away slowly.
4. Should an unfriendly dog run toward you, stand still with your arms crossed in front of your body. Do not make eye contact with the dog—they take eye contact as a challenge.
5. If you come across a pack of dogs, throw a small object away from you to distract them, and then slowly walk away.
6. Remember it is the deed, not the breed. Do not judge a dog simply by what breed it is. Judge a dog by his actions.
Additional information on safety around dogs can be found on the AKC website at www.akc.org/public_education
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