Each year more than 4 million people are the victims of dog bites in the United States. While any person could be harmed in a dog attack, the most common victims are children and men. More than half of all dog bites occur in the home, by pets with whom the victims are familiar.
Even if you think that you could never be a part of these devastating statistics, it’s still very important to take precautions to prevent dog bites. Below, we will discuss what you should teach your children to keep them safe around dogs and what you can do to prevent your own pet from attacking.
Teach Your Children How to Act Around Dogs
- Never touch a dog without first asking the dog’s owner for permission
- Never go up to a dog that you do not know
- Never approach a dog unless you are with an adult
- Stay away from a dog that seems to be scared or is growling
- Make sure the dog has seen and sniffed you before you touch it
- Stay away if a dog is sleeping, eating, or taking care of puppies
- Always be calm and gentle when petting dogs
- Always treat dogs nicely; never tease dogs
- Don’t make direct eye contact with dogs
- Never scream around a dog
- Never run away from a dog
- When approached by a dog you don’t know, keep your arms at your sides and stand still
- If a dog makes you fall down, roll into a ball and stay still until the dog leaves
- If you see a dog acting strange or walking around without its owner, tell an adult
- If you are bitten or scratched by a dog, tell an adult right away
How to Prevent Your Dog from Biting
- Spay or neuter your dog – having your pet fixed can reduce its natural aggression.
- Regularly socialize your dog – it is important for your pet to spend time with people and other dogs from a young age so that it can get used to different situations and learn proper social behavior.
- Make sure your dog is properly trained – regardless of your pet’s size or breed, you have a responsibility as an owner to teach your dog submissive behaviors and to correct any aggressive or bad behavior.
- Don’t play aggressive games with your dog – games like tug-of-war and wrestling can teach your pet aggressive behaviors and inadvertently make your dog more protective of toys.
- Be mindful of your dog’s personality – if your pet panics in new situations or around unfamiliar people, don’t take it to crowded places. If your dog gets anxious around children, don’t bring it to parks and don’t leave it in the front yard where it can be seen and approached by kids.
- Never leave children alone with your dog – children may not realize that actions like pulling a dog’s tail or ears, poking, climbing on, or trying to take toys and food can make the animal agitated or cause it to become aggressive. Always be present when children are around your dog.
If you or your child is seriously injured in a dog attack, you may have legal options under Texas’ dog bite law. The Law Office of James M. Stanley can evaluate your case and help you decide upon a course of action. Request a free consultation with our experienced and caring Fort Worth injury lawyers today!