The American Kennel Club has declared September “responsible pet ownership” month and various organizations across the country hold events promoting awareness. While we think responsible pet ownership is a 365 day a year job it doesn’t hurt to take a moment and refresh ourselves with some basic principles as our lives transition into the “back-to-school” schedule.
Regardless of how long you’ve had your family dog or how much he puts up with from the kids it’s imperative that you always use caution where kids and dogs are involved. If you don’t have a dog of your own but your kids are going to be spending time at someone’s house who does it’s important they understand the appropriate way to approach and act around a dog, especially one that isn’t theirs. Remind your kids of these basic principles and keep everyone safe and happy!
Respect a dogs space
- Always approach a dog slowly and calmly-Running toward a dog or approaching a dog with excited behavior can cause many problems.
- Don’t put your face in a dogs face-even though you may be the same size, trying to see “eye to eye” with a dog is a threatening behavior and can make a dog fearful, which can cause him to bite
- Never approach a dog when he’s eating-You wouldn’t like it if someone was hovering over you while you ate, or tried to take your dinner away, so don’t do it to your dog!
Pet dogs gently and in the right place
- Always pet dogs gently and under the chin or chest-Never reach over a dogs back or head, this can be mistaken for a negative touch and the dog could react accordingly.
- Always let the dog see you before you touch him-Extend your hand to the dog before you pet him, letting him know you’re coming. No one likes when someone sneaks up on him!
Never approach a strange dog
- ALWAYS ask permission to approach or pet someone’s dog-Even a friendly dog can be afraid when approached by a stranger. Not all dogs are friendly so you should always ask before you pet a dog.
These are just a few simple steps to keep your kids safe and give them guidelines for dog safety.