Maybe your kids love them and want to pet every one they see. Or maybe they’re afraid of them and want to move to a dog-free neighborhood. Either way, dogs are a part of life, and we need to make sure our kids are safe from the dangers that dogs might bring: your own or others.
Charlene van Tonder at Safe-Kids offers us seven clever tips to help your kids prevent being bitten by a dog – they spell “DOG SAFE”! So really easy to remember:
D: Don’t Tease, Please
O: Only Pet With Permission
G: Give Space
S: Slow Down
A: Always Get Help
F: Fingers Together
E: Even Good Dogs Can Bite
Don’t Tease, Please: Teasing a dog can make it angry or frustrated enough to bite. For instance, if a dog has food or a toy, never try to take it away. You wouldn’t like it if someone grabbed your snack while you were eating it!
Only Pet With Permission: Never pet a dog without asking the owner if it’s OK. Some dogs don’t like to be touched by strangers. And don’t try to pet a stray dog.
Give Space: Little kids especially might run right up to a cute dog and try to pet it or give it a hug. But dogs need space. Crowding a dog can frighten or anger the dog.
Slow Down: Some dogs like to chase and bite. Of course, you don’t want to be chased or bitten! The way to avoid it is to go slow around dogs. Never run toward them or away from them. If a dog you don’t know runs toward you, freeze. If you need to get away, back up slowly.
Always Get Help: It can be tempting to bring home a dog that seems lost or injured. But animals who are lost or injured may be very frightened or in pain. Find a grown-up instead who can decide how to care for the animal.
Fingers Together: When feeding a dog a treat, put the treat in the palm of your hand and keep your fingers and thumb close together. Why? The dog is less likely to get confused about which is the treat — the doggie snack or your finger!
Even Good Dogs Can Bite: Some people are very surprised when their dog bites someone, but all dogs can bite. Avoid doing things that make dogs scared or angry, such as backing them into a corner or bothering them when they are sleeping. Also learn the warning signs that a dog may bite, such as growling, backing up, or curling its lip.
Enjoy your pets and Keep Safe!
By Charlene van Tonder