More than 60% of US homes have dogs living in them, according to The Humane Society of the United States, and more than 83MM pets are part of people’s families. Unfortunately that means millions of people, mostly children, will be bitten by a dog this year.
The good news is that many of these bites are particularly avoidable, and Kriser’s Natural Pet has some tips to share about how to prevent a potential dog bite:
- Never disturb a dog that is eating, sleeping or caring for its puppies. Don’t forget, dogs have 99% of the same DNA of their wolf ancestors, so they naturally tend to protect their food, rest and offspring. By the same token, never reach through a fence to pet a dog. They will protect their domain, and could see you as encroaching on their territory!
- Allow a dog to sniff you. This is how they get to know you and can tell if you are OK to them. In most cases, the dog will go away if it sees you’re not a threat. It’s exactly how they meet new furry friends too.
- Dogs don’t want to be squeezed. Hugs and kisses aren’t their gig, at least not until they know you well. If you or your kids squeeze a new dog, it feels restrained, and it may lash out.
- Try to avoid sudden movement with dogs. They naturally love to run and chase things, so if you move quickly or run by, they may see you as a toy and become excited or aggressive.
- A friend once said to me that only humans look a peer in the eye and bare their teeth in a positive greeting. For an animal, staring them down and smiling is akin to a glare and brandishing a weapon. No need to stare a dog down.
- If you are threatened by a dog, remain calm. Don’t scream or yell. If you say anything, speak calmly and firmly. Remember…no eye contact. Stay calm and still until the dog leaves, or back away slowly until it is out of sight. Do not run.
- And, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association, if you fall or are knocked to the ground, curl into a ball with your hands over your head and neck. Protect your face.
While biting may be part of a pet’s natural instinct, good training, socialization and obedience classes can help moderate the behavior. Plus, regular vigorous exercise can help a pup relax a bit. Talk to your local Kriser’s Natural Pet Pack Member for recommended products for your Naughty Nipper.