Pets are a great way to teach kids the importance of caring for another living thing, and give them a sense of responsibility. They’re also a lot of work, and their addition to the family is not a decision to be taken lightly. Before you bring your newest family member home, these are ten of the things that you should consider.
Dogs who are good with kids
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), every year more than 4.5 million people in the United States are victims of dog bites
Kids are the No. 1 victims of dog bites. Surprisingly, the AVMA says most dog bites happen in the course of everyday activities with familiar dogs. Seniors are the second most common dog bite victims.
There are a variety of reasons dogs bite, and sometimes they are not the most obvious reasons. Dogs bite when they are afraid, feel threatened, get excited, are at play, have been trained to be aggressive, are being protective with food or treats, or are in pain or annoyed.
Tips to prevent dog bites:
- Know the basics of a dog’s body language. A wagging tail does not always mean a dog is friendly. Depending on the carriage of the tail, it could mean the dog is nervous, stressed, and uneasy.
- Teach children to never approach a stray dog under any circumstances. And if they are approached by a stray, they should “be a tree,” and not move until the dog moves away.
- Never taunt a dog. If you dare a dog to bite you, he just might give you exactly what you’re asking for.
- Don’t put your face in a dog’s face you don’t know. Children should be taught to never get up in a dog’s face, even the family pet. Many dogs read that as a challenge and react out of impulse to protect themselves.
- Respect the growl. A growl is a warning from a dog that he may bite, and you should always believe him!
- Never sneak up on a sleeping dog. Never approach a dog who is eating. Never back a dog into a corner where he feels he can’t escape.
- Supervise all interactions between young children (under 10) and dogs at all times. Children forget to tie their shoes and make their beds, so naturally they could forget the correct way to play with and handle the family dog. An adult should always be present to make sure the rules are followed.
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