Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Biting Truth

According to Colleen Pelar, Pet Safety speaker for our upcoming Family Pet Safety Night,  nearly 2.8 million children are bitten by a dog each year. And half of these bites come from the family’s own dog!

Colleen tells us that parents can greatly decrease the chances of a bite by keeping the following in mind:

1. When choosing a dog for your family, look for one that adores children. A dog that enjoys children will give them the benefit of the doubt when they pull a tail or step on a foot. Some dogs can be great family members with the support and supervision of the parents, and some dogs are simply not compatible with children. 

2. Know what dogs don't like. For example, dogs DO NOT like to be hugged! Likewise, dogs need personal space, and this is a concept young children simply don't understand. 

3. Learn some basic canine body language. When a dog is unhappy, he or she will exhibit the following behaviors:
  • Lip licking
  • Yawning
  • Shaking off (like when wet)
  • Freezing 

With some careful planning and supervision, we as parents can do a lot to ensure a happy home where both children and dogs live happily ever after.

For plenty more tips and information on dog safety, please join us for Family Pet Safety Night, Sept. 24th! In addition to Colleen, Todd Kramer, Executive Director for Noah's Ark Animal Welfare Association, will be there to assist families with finding the right dog for them! 

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