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How Do I Keep My Dog and Others Safe?

Keeping your dog safe, as well as keeping others safe from your dog, is very important as nearly 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs each year. Not all dogs are vicious. However, it is difficult to know when a dog may turn violent. Here are some tips for keeping your dog safe:

  • Give your pet a collar and ID tags: Include up-to-date information for the best way to reach you if the dog is lost or stolen like your name, phone number, and address. ID tags can be purchased at any pet store.
  • Have your pet microchipped: Microchips are implanted identification for the pet that has all of the owner’s contact information.
  • Spay/neuter your pet: Sterile pets are less likely to roam, and it saves you the hassle of additional unwanted pets. Sterile animals are also less likely to become violent as they age.
  • Plan for your absence: Pets love the outdoors. But keeping them safe while you are gone is difficult. Keep them close to home and away from traffic, unfamiliar animals, and those who may not have your pet’s best interests in mind.
  • Leash your pets while out and about: A leash decreases the likelihood of fights with other animals. It should be strong enough to hold the dog’s weight if they begin to pull.
  • Don’t leave your animal unattended: Don’t leave your pet leashed outside of a store or in your vehicle, even if it is locked or the windows are rolled down.

Dog Responsibility infographic

Tips for Keeping Others Safe From Your Dog

Here are some ways to keep others safe from your dog:

  • No hugs or kisses: Teach people who may be around your dog that hugs and kisses around the dog’s face are not safe. Face-to-face contact with the dog is a common cause of bites.
  • Stand still if a strange dog approaches: If you don’t know the dog, don’t attempt to pet it or play with it. Teach your child to stand still when a strange dog approaches. The dog may want to sniff, but they will usually move on to something else.
  • Don’t tease: Never tease a dog. Also never disturb a dog that is sleeping, eating, or protecting something.
  • Supervise: When family or friends are over, supervise the dog to make sure that everyone is being safe. You may put the dog in another room while you have visitors.

Dog and Animal Safety With Children

Children are always ready to explore everything around them. This friendly and outgoing tendency is extended to dogs and other animals.

When around dogs and other pets, instruct children to:

  • Treat pets properly. Do not pull their tails/ears or poke their eyes.
  • Act calmly around dogs. Do not jump at them or scream in their presence.
  • Not hug dogs too tightly. If they want to pet the dog, tell them only to pet the dog’s back.
  • Don’t sneak up on a dog.
  • Do not disturb a sleeping dog.
  • Stay away if the dog seems angry or agitated.
  • Don’t approach a dog that is eating.
  • Don’t feed any strange or wild animals.

For parents:

  • If your child gets scratched or bitten by an animal, seek medical attention immediately.
  • Have your dog regularly vaccinated, especially for rabies.
  • Keep your dog healthy with plenty of exercise.
  • If deciding to have a dog for the first time, carefully select a breed that is ideal for children. Choose a breed of dog known for its good behavior.