April 2018: Vet's Advice

March 26 2018

A dog in the family has so many benefits to all and particularly to children both in terms of the child’s development and nurturing talents to increased exercise and the health benefits that brings.

A dog in the family has so many benefits to all and particularly to children both in terms of the child’s development and nurturing talents to increased exercise and the health benefits that brings. However it is also the case that the majority of dog bites to children happen in the family home.

Learning some basics of dog behaviour can be very helpful to prevent children getting bitten.

Dogs will react to anything that they perceive as dangerous. If any dog feels nervous, scared or threatened then it may growl and bite.

There are some basic rules for children to adhere to and help them stay safe.

1. Avoid running and shouting around dogs, this can excite or frighten the dog. The dog may run away but could also potentially bite if feeling threatened or trapped. If you have a house of noisy energetic children allow the dog his own quiet space in a different part of the house, maybe with a favourite toy or treat.

2. Do not allow children to invade a dogs space, do not get too close to a dog’s face and do not allow smothering with hugs and kisses.

3. Children particularly like to pull and poke! Do not allow them to pull ears or tails or poke eyes as this can hurt or irritate any dog.

4. Do not tease your dog, have consistent family rules about allowing your dog on furniture or taking toys away from your dog. Teasing can lead to frustration biting and inconsistencies will confuse your dog.

5. Dog meal times should not be interrupted, leave your dog in peace to eat his dinner.

6. Leave sleeping dogs alone, none of us like to be woken up unexpectedly.

And the golden rule: Never leave children unattended with dogs!

The charity Dogs Trust is actively promoting safety for children around dogs and has a free fact sheet available on its website, www.learnwithdogstrust.org.uk/be-dog-smart/

Dogs Trust is also visiting schools and providing free Dog Smart workshops, for more information email them at educ@dogstrust.org.uk

I hope that by promoting better awareness and knowledge of the benefits and risks of dog ownership we may all be able to get along a bit better and more safely.

For any other advice do please contact us at Animal Health Centre