The long days of summer mean more children out and about – and more pet owners enjoying the sunny days with their best friends. However, more pedestrians and more dog owners out together can also mean a greater risk of dog bites.
If you are a pet owner, take precautions to keep your pet and your community safe. There are several good ways to do this:
1) Take your pet to the vet regularly. Dogs are more likely to bite if they are ill or in pain, and regular visits to the vet ensure that your pet is healthy and therefore less likely to bite. Good communication with your vet also ensures that your dog has all the necessary vaccinations needed to keep your pet and your community safe.
2) Never allow your dog to roam without a leash. If your pet is free in the yard, make sure that children do not have easy access to the yard. If you take your dog for a walk, keep him or her on a leash to prevent him from running after children or people. If your dog tends to nip or has any behavioral problems, place a muzzle on your dog as well until you can get help from an obedience specialist.
3) Get your dog socialized. Get your dog to spend time with other dogs – either at a dog park or with other pet owners. Dogs who are well socialized may be less likely to bite, according to some specialists.
4) Get obedience training for your pet. One of the best ways to prevent dog bites is to get your pet into obedience training as soon as possible and to consult with training specialists until your dog obeys you faithfully and does not show signs of nipping or any aggression (even play aggression).
If you have a child and are worried about dog bites, it is important to teach your child about dogs. In many cases, children scream or run from a dog, which can provoke an attack. Some children will also approach or even tease strange dogs, unaware of the danger of this behavior. If you can keep a dog in the home, this can be a good way to teach your child about the correct way to care for a pet. If you do not have a dog at home, consider spending time with friends who do own dogs, so that your child can get used to the right way to approach an animal. Teach your child to never run away or provoke an animal, as well.
Keep in mind that adults need to consider dog bites as well. Florida dog bites involving children do tend to be more serious. Children attacked by dogs are more likely to become Florida brain injury patients or to suffer permanent or serious injuries, since they are smaller and dogs can more easily attack the face and head. Nevertheless, a dog attack can also be serious for an adult. A dog bite can cause broken bones, scarring, infection, trauma, and weeks or months of recovery time, even for an adult. Adults need to periodically review the safety tips for avoiding dog bites:
1) Never approach strange dogs.
2) If a dog is off a leash and approaches you, do not run. Face the animal and back away slowly.
3) If you are bitten, get information about the dog and owner, if you can, and get immediate medical attention.
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