Meeting and playing with a new dog is a tempting idea for most children. As a parent, you should know that any dog, no matter how familiar or friendly, could be dangerous if provoked or agitated. Keep your kids safe around strange dogs with these six tips.
Ways to Keep Your Child Safe Around Unfamiliar Dogs
1) Look for an Owner
Before you let your child approach a dog, look for its owner. If the dog is not on a leash, do not approach it. If the dog's owner is walking it, ask the owner first if your child can touch the dog and if it reacts well to children.
2) Learn Dog Body Language
One of the reasons dogs might bite children is because the children do not understand the dog's physical signals that they are angry. Tail wagging is usually friendly, but a tucked tail means a fearful dog that could attack. Also, alert your child to the dangers of dogs with bared teeth, ones that lunge at things while on a leash, or when they snap their jaws at things.
3) Approach Safely
Dogs can become startled or overexcited by running children, especially small ones. When children approach a dog after the owner says they can pet it, they should do so slowly and allow the dog to sniff their hand first. Loud noises can also scare dogs, so your child should speak calmly and avoid fast movements.
4) Avoid Moms with Puppies
We all know puppies are cute and children love them, but nursing mothers are extremely protective of their puppies. Make sure the owner is the one who handles the puppies and gives one to your child to hold after both you and the owner approve the interaction.
5) Teach Your Child Good Playing Rules
One of the reasons dogs can turn aggressive is because the child is not treating the dog nicely (e.g., pulling the dog’s tail or ears). Teach young children the right way to pet dogs and remind older children not to roughhouse too much with any dog.
6) Be Careful with Food and Toys
Anything that comes between a dog and its toys or food can become a threat to the dog. Remind your child never to try to take a bone, toy, or food away from a dog. They should also never try to feed a dog anything unless it is with permission from the owner.
If Your Child is Bitten By a Dog, Know Where to Get Legal Help
Dog bites can leave serious scars and injuries and often cause emotional trauma to your child. If your child sustained serious injuries from another person's dog, you have the right to file a claim for compensation on behalf of your child.
Call the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, P.C. at 404-474-0804 for a free consultation and let us ease your mind about covering your expenses so you can take care of your child.