Dog Bite Prevention Week: Advice on how to avoid dog bites

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – The week of April 8th is Dog Bite Prevention week and Kay Moore, R.N. a Registered Nurse from Rady Children’s Hospital stopped by Good Morning San Diego to give some advice on how to safely interact with dogs.

Some more advice from Rady Children’s Hosptial:

Parents can monitor dogs’ body language and children’s behavior to help support positive interactions between pups and kids. In general, 5 is the “magic age” when kids can start to understand dog’s social cues and make safe, smart choices around four-legged companions. Some key things to keep in mind include the following:

• As much as we may love to cuddle with our dogs, the feeling isn’t always mutual. Avoid kisses, laying with a dog in their personal space and especially hugs.
• Dogs don’t like hugs from kids, especially kids they don’t know.
• If a dog approaches you for a snuggle session, however — for example, curling up in your lap or placing their head on your leg — it’s generally safe to take their invitation.
• Dogs tend to dislike pats on the head; petting the sides of their neck is a safe alternative.
• Games such as fetch or hide-and-seek are good options, whereas engaging in something such as tug-o-war or chase may get a dog overly excited or feeling aggressive, in turn increasing bite risk.
• It’s important to let dogs be when they’re eating, drinking or chewing on a bone; if they’re ill or hurt; or if they’re behind a fence or chained in a yard.
• Never assume a dog wants to be pet or played with, even if they look friendly. If you see a dog you’d like to greet, ask the owner and then approach slowly and calmly, allowing them to sniff and assess their comfort level. If their body language indicates they’re uncomfortable, leave them alone.
• If a dog does approach in an aggressive way, “be a tree,” Stand in place, hold still and keep your arms close to your body. Never, ever run from a dog.

Categories: Good Morning San Diego, Health