With the school year starting and the constant stresses of covid, routines and stresses are at an all-time high. Dogs also feel the impact of owner stress and it plays a role in how dogs react. In fact, when covid related lockdowns began (and the associated stresses) in March of 2020, dog bite attack claims increased significantly. Dog bites pose serious health risks to communities and as many as 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year in the United States. Over 800,000 people receive medical attention for dog bites. It is impossible to guarantee that your dog will not bite or attack someone; however, there are many ways that you can significantly reduce the risk of your dog biting. The National Dog Bite Prevention Coalition recommends the following tips:
Take it slow
Many pet owners have been isolated at home, and likely your pet has been as well. Don’t rush out into crowded areas or dog parks. Expose your dog to new situations slowly and only for short periods of time. Give plenty of praise and rewards for good behavior.
Be a responsible pet owner
Build a solid foundation for dog bite prevention by taking your pet for regular training, exercise, and neuter or spay your pet. A happy and healthy pet is less likely to bite!
Socializing your dog is a great way to prevent your dog from biting others. Socializing helps your dog feel at ease in uncommon and changing situations. Introducing your dog to people and other animals while your dog is a puppy makes them feel comfortable in different situations, especially as the dog ages. When socializing your dog make sure your dog is on a leash. Local ordinances require you to keep your dog on a leash so that you can control your dog!
Educate your family
Educate your family on what to look for in dog body language, such as a dog’s attempt to look bigger, cowering, and what to watch in animals as they approach you. We wrote extensively on this topic regarding what you can do to prevent a dog bite.
Make sure your pet is healthy
Dogs are more likely to bite if they are sick or in pain. Schedule a checkup with your vet to discuss your dog’s physical and behavioral health.
Play dates with other dogs
Start arranging play dates with other dogs and people as you and your dog are comfortable. Gradually and carefully increase the amount of time together with friends and family.
If You Or A Loved One Has Been Bitten By A Dog Genthe Law Firm Can Help
Dog bites are physically and emotionally devastating to everyone involved. Despite education and proper preventative measures these attacks still happen. If you or a loved one has been injured from a dog attack, let the lawyers at Genthe Law Firm help you get the recovery you need to get your life back to normal. As always, our consultations are free, and you will never pay us anything unless we get you compensation. Contact us today for more information.