Dog Bites a Child. What Parents Need To Know?

Dogs and children can make the very best of friends. However, there are unfortunate cases in which the presence of a new dog in the neighborhood can represent a danger to your child. Therefore, it is very important to know what to do when your neighbors get a new dog. This can include teaching the kid how to behave around the dog, making sure the owners are responsible, and teaching the dog to behave, promoting a healthy relationship between your kid and the dog. After all, they might just get along swimmingly! 

What if a Dog Bites a Child

The main concern when a dog bites a child is making sure the child gets proper care. Also, it’s very important to get all the information about the dog’s health status, whether its vaccination record is complete, and where the dog presides. 

Sometimes, stitches and a round of antibiotics are needed. The doctor will be able to let you know what the next steps are in this regard. If needed, you could contact a dog bite lawyer nearby to ensure the owner of the animal answers for any expenses.

What Do Children Need to Know to Avoid Bites

Education is key to avoid dog bites. This is why children need to know how to behave when they are in the presence of a dog. This is especially important when it’s a dog they haven’t met before but it applies to all interactions with this type of animal.

How to Pet a Dog

Children should know how to pet the dog gently. Kids can be quite clumsy and they often don’t have an understanding of their strength and the damage they can inflict when they pull on a dog’s fur. Even an unintentional action can lead to a dog bite because the animal feels threatened and hurt. 

Not to Tease a Dog

Some kids might think teasing a dog is fun. This can include pulling on their tails or ears or hitting them with something. This is both dangerous and cruel and children should know not to do this. It hurts the animal and it might end up on a bite and a visit to the emergency room.

Don’t Interrupt Dogs

Dogs can be especially territorial and grumpy when they are interrupted while doing some activities. This includes sleeping and eating. This is even more so when the dog is taking care of its puppies. Female dogs can be quite aggressive if they perceive a human as a threat and they won’t hesitate to attack in defense of their puppies.

Never Back a Dog into a Corner

No one likes to feel trapped and dogs are not the exception. Backing a door into a corner can lead to the dog answering aggressively, trying to escape their perceived “prison”. Children need to know that for their safety and the happiness of the dog, they should abstain from this behavior.

What Do Parents Need to Know to Avoid Bites

There are different things parents can do to protect their children from dog bites.

Report Stray Dogs

Stray dogs can suffer from different diseases and they should be reported when they become a fixed presence in the neighborhood. A good way to do this is by making the report to a shelter, where they can take care of the dog and, hopefully, put it up for adoption. 

Teach Your Children

As a parent, you have the responsibility of teaching your child how to properly interact with a dog. Some of the main things that need to be taught are:

  • Don’t throw things at a dog or try to hurt it in any way.
  • Ask for permission from the parent and the dog’s owner before petting the animal.
  • Teach your child to pet dogs gently, without hugging the dog if they don’t know it. If they do, teach your child to hug it gently.
  • Make sure they know not to scream or jump near the dog. The goal is to not scare the animal into committing an aggressive act. 

What Should Dog Owners Do

Dow owners also have a big responsibility, as they should ensure their dog is well behaved and not a danger to anyone around it. Some things you can do as a dog owner are:

Socialize Your Dog

The earlier you start the socializing process the better. Make sure you are around when it starts to interact with other dogs and humans and teach it to be especially careful with children. Make sure you intervene if the interaction becomes aggressive in any way.

Pay Attention to Its Body Parts

Sometimes, dogs are especially sensitive in certain areas of the body. Pay attention if your dog backs away or gets aggressive when a specific area is petter and take note of which areas he is content with. That way, you can give indications to anyone interacting with your pet. 

Common Dog Safety Myths

Sometimes, ignorance about what might bring a dog to behave aggressively can be the most dangerous factor that leads to a bite. Make sure you don’t buy into any of the following myths.

If the Dog Isn’t a Pitbull, It Won’t Be Aggressive

This is a common misconception. People tend to associate Pitbulls and rottweilers with aggressiveness and assume poodles and jack terriers are docile animals. All dogs can bite and the same preventive measures should be taken during any interaction with these animals.

If the Dog Was Socialized when It Was a Puppy, It Won’t Bite as an Adult

When dogs are afraid, they might lash out, regardless of they are being socialized to children or not. Therefore, it’s important to teach children to be gentle with all dogs. This is especially true when it comes to anxious dogs because they are more likely to feel threatened and react.

My Child Is Gentle and They Wouldn’t Hurt a Soul

A kid might think they are being gentle when in reality, they are hugging the dog too tightly or they are attempting to touch puppies that are being protected by their mother. Regardless of how gentle a child might be, they need to have the proper education that allows them to be safe around dogs. 

Dogs can be playful companions to kids when things are handled properly. Education for parents, children, and dog owners are essential to avoid any unfortunate incidents and live peacefully in the neighborhood.