Most people love seeing our four-legged friend, the puppy dog, and they have actually been known to provide therapeutic support. However, some friends and family may be a little more nervous around dogs than others. That could be for a variety of reasons, and one of the biggest ones could be a dog bite. It could be a past dog bite or even the potential for a future bite. Read on to learn more about the “do’s and don’ts” to help prevent a dog bite in the future.
What can a human do to prevent a potentially unsafe situation:
- Ask for permission from dog owners before greeting or approaching the dog.
- Invite the dog to come to you.
- Learn what dogs are saying and respect their feelings
- Pet gently with one hand starting at the collar and going toward the tail
- Give the dog space especially if it is eating, chewing, or resting
Things people should not:
- Never approach a dog without permission
- Invade a dog’s space by kissing, hugging, or getting in the dog’s face
- Pet the dog on the head, pull ears, tail, or drag them around
- Ignore what a dog is saying. Do not force them to do things.
- Pet or tease a dog when it’s eating, chewing, or resting
What are key indicators of a dog’s body language?
- Tail wagging
- Raised hackles (back standing up)
- Facial expressions (they are similar to humans)
Please educate children at an age-appropriate level on all of the above “do’s and don’ts”. Also, if there are any concerns make sure to not leave even older children alone with any dog. Infants and young children should never interact directly with a dog unless there is direct and constant supervision.
If an adult or child does get bitten by a dog
- Wash the wound
- Slow the bleeding with a clean cloth
- Apply other the counter-antibiotic cream
- Wrap the wound
- Keep it bandaged and see the doctor
- Change the bandage several times a day
- Watch for signs of infection