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Preventing Dog Bites in Children

Dog Bite Prevention Week starts April 6th. Although dog bites are fairly uncommon, they can and do happen. Children are often more likely to be bitten than adults. A Cameron Park, CA vet offers some tips on keeping kids from getting bit below.

Understanding Fido

Why do children get bitten sometimes? There are a few reasons for this. For one thing, kids can be quite loud and/or rowdy, and sometimes move very quickly. These things make dogs pretty uneasy. Children may also not understand dogs’ body language, and may learn the hard way not to take Fido’s food or pull his tail. Even the sweetest dog can bite if they feel scared or provoked!

Warning Signs

Dogs rarely bite ‘without warning.’ They usually give plenty of notice. People just don’t always recognize the red flags. A dog that is feeling aggressive may try to look bigger, by putting up their ears and/or making their fur bristle. They may also stare at their target and/or growl or stand stiffly. Dogs that are scared, on the other hand, may crouch, lower their head, lick their lips, and/or put their tails between their legs. You may also see a combination of these behaviors.

Interacting With Fido

Make sure your kids know not to disturb a pup that is sleeping, chewing, eating, or nursing. Always supervise interactions between children and dogs. Kids should also never be left alone with dogs.

Strange Dogs

Teach your children to never approach a dog that is tied up, behind a fence, unfamiliar, barking, growling, injured, and/or scared. If the dog is hurt, they should alert an adult. If they come across a dog that is on the loose, they should stand still and look away. When the dog loses interest, they can slowly walk away. Never look a strange dog in the eye: this is a sign of aggression to dogs.

Worst-Case Scenario

Sometimes, even with every precaution, dogs will still bite. If your child is ever bitten or knocked down, they should curl up in a ball with their hands behind their neck. If a dog starts chasing them, it’s generally best not to try to outrun them. In that case, they should grab something else for the dog to latch onto, like a book bag or jacket.

Please contact us, your Cameron Park, CA vet clinic, anytime. We’re here to help!

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