Some Essentials for Pet Bite Prevention!
Thank you for taking the time to read this information! With the warm weather coming, school soon coming to an end, and that we are finally get the warm days we need to get outside – there will be more time to spend with our great pets – Dogs, Cats (on a leash), ferrets, and parrots! The latter two species should be in proper harnesses!
The topic I would like to address today is not just ‘Dog Bite Prevention’ but avoidance of them along with the circumstances that surround the possibility of receiving bites from any pet or animal.
For anyone out there who owns a pet or not – We need to remind ourselves and our children of the importance of AVOIDING the possibility of harm from an animal in the first place. Consider reminding our children & ourselves of the following;1) If you see a stray animal wandering, looking lost or worried – don’t approach it! Many animals that are away from home will look sad, or anxious but are just as likely to respond to a kind-intended pat or trying to corner them to control and return them to their owners as a THREAT. Its likely they will respond accordingly.
- If you see a stray animal wandering, looking lost or worried – don’t approach it! Many animals that are away from home will look sad, or anxious but are just as likely to respond to a kind-intended pat or trying to corner them to control and return them to their owners as a THREAT. Its likely they will respond accordingly.
- If you or your child see a pet on a leash tied out in front of a store or home – do not approach it – the results can be saddening as in #1. This applies to pets behind a fence as well!
- If you see a pet in a car – windows down or up – do not approach. We recently had a dog squeeze its way out of a slightly lowered window, get stuck and, a passer-by attempted to help the dog – receiving a nasty bite as the animal was confused. If the pet is in a car – with the warm weather – call 911.
- Remind your children to leave pets alone when they are eating, playing with a toy, and sleeping.
- Please teach young children not to chase, hug, or poke any pet – its a natural temptation to hug your pet, but with some children – regardless of how well behaved our pets are – the pet can become scared by the happy shrieks or unintended rough play of some children. Its never a poor idea to remind our youngsters to avoid putting their face near that of our pets either.
Last year we had a parent bring in their Cocker Spaniel for a consultation as the dog had behaved out of character – nipping their child as it jumped down from the couch. Please help our kids learn to allow a pet to jump down from their arms if they are carrying them, or from furniture. Trying to stop them can lead to serious, unintended injuries.
In the end, please take the time to teach our kids to think before they act around any pet – the BEST WAY TO AVOID these concerns is to have your child learn to simply ask permission. Permission to pet, touch, or feed the pet.
Asking ‘Is your pet friendly?’ when meeting a new pet,
Ensuring the adult has control of the pet,
Offering their hand palm upwards for the pet to sniff or rub their hand will avoid unexpected consequences.
Once the pet is clearly comfortable with your child, have them gently stroke the sides of the pets upper body ONLY. Any other area of a strange or well-known pet can elicit an unexpected reaction.
By Jeff Goodall, Veterinarian / Owner Sunnyview Animal Care your veterinarian in Bedford, Halifax Nova Scotia