When you look at your dog, you likely see a perfect angel who wouldn’t dare hurt anyone. However, the truth is, dogs are animals, and that means they can be unpredictable and possibly even dangerous. According to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs every year. As a result, many organizations came together and started “National Dog Bite Prevention Week.”
As a pet owner, I take my dog’s care and safety very seriously. Part of that involves helping her stay out of situations where she could be provoked to bite.
Here are some of the things I do to prevent my dog from biting.
Keep her leashed
Some states require pet owners to keep their dogs on a leash when they are in public. My husband and I have always followed the leash laws in our area. We know that having our dog on a leash not only protects other people and animals from her, but it also protects her from them. We also take this one step further by keeping her leashed indoors whenever she is around new people or animals.
Closely supervise her while she’s outside
Last year, my husband and I bought our first home. We were extremely excited to finally have a big yard for our dog to play in; however, the house we bought didn’t come with a fenced-in yard. Not having a fence means that anyone can wander into our yard at any time. For example, a few months ago I brought our dog inside from a potty break, and moments later a young girl walked right across our yard, and would have been well within range of our dog had she been outside. So, to be safe, we never leave her outside alone to prevent any problems.
Slowly introducing her to new people, places, and pets
Our dog, Daisy is very calm by nature, but she gets a little nervous when she is faced with something or someone she doesn’t know. Therefore, when she has to be introduced to something unfamiliar, we make sure to take things slow. For example, not long ago when a friend stopped by to show off her new baby, Daisy really wasn’t sure what to make of the tiny, whining bundle of joy. So, instead of diving right into baby cuddles, I sat on the sofa with Daisy until she relaxed enough to move to her bed. This way, she was in a place I know she feels secure, which meant that no one would be at risk of getting bit.
Not all dog bites can be prevented, but if you remain vigilant with your dog, you can lower the overall risk of it happening on your watch.
More from this contributor:
3 Tricks to Get a Dog to Eat Its Food
Dog Safety During Home Renovations
3 Reasons My Dog Isn’t Ready for a Doggy Companion