Safety Tips for Dogs at the Holidays
Holidays can be stressful for everyone, even family dogs, and it’s important to be extra careful about dog bites, particularly if you’re a dog owner or the parent of a young child:
Tips for Dog Owners:
- Closely monitor your dog around children, taking care to keep your dog away from their faces.
- Keep visitors away from a sleeping dog, an eating dog (this includes its food dish), or a mother with new puppies. These dogs are more likely to get aggressive if they perceive that a high-value resource, whether a comfy sleeping spot or a favorite rawhide, is at risk of being taken away.
- Consider separating your dog from visitors or even boarding the dog if it is a new member of your household, in poor health, elderly, or has ever shown signs of aggression such as growling or biting.
Tips for Parents:
- Remember, any dog can bite.
- It is generally best to prevent or limit a child’s interaction with an unfamiliar dog and closely supervise all interactions even with familiar dogs, particularly when it comes to young children.
- Discourage your child from hugging kissing a dog, or putting their face into a dog’s.
- Teach kids never to tease a dog or approach a dog that is sleeping, eating, or caring for puppies.
- Trust your instincts. If a relative’s dog seems aggressive or if your kid is being particularly wild and you’re concerned about the dog, consider asking your relative if they’d be willing to put the dog up for a little while. Take any necessary steps to get your child out of a potentially dangerous situation.