Winnebago County Animal Services keeps the people and pets of Winnebago County, Illinois safe. The organization recently shared these tips for preventing bites, a common concern for pet owners and neighbors alike.
Dog bites can be prevented becoming familiar canine body language:
Dog bite prevention tips for pet owners:
- Socialize and train your dog, so that it is confident and friendly about the world outside of your home.
- Always keep your dog secure on a leash when walking in public.
- Never allow your dog to run loose off your property.
- Always supervise your dog when it is outside, even in a fenced yard.
- Visit your vet once a year for a health check and rabies shot. A sick or injured dog may be more likely to bite.
- Make sure your dog has a safe place to be away from company if necessary.
- Always supervise children and babies around dogs.
- Don’t put your dog in any situation where it doesn’t feel safe. A fearful dog may bite.
- Spay or neuter your dog. Most dogs who bite are not spayed and neutered.
- Bring your dog inside and make it part of the family. A dog chained in a backyard is not a family dog and may be less socialized. A less socialized dog may be more likely to bite.
Dog bite prevention tips for anyone around dogs:
- Don’t reach over a fence to pet a dog, even a dog you know. A fence could make a dog feel more protective.
- Always ask the owner first if you can pet his/her dog. Not all dogs walked in public are friendly with everyone.
- Do not hug a dog that you don’t know. Hugging is for people, not dogs.
- Never run from a stray dog. Walk away slowly or stand completely still.
- Always supervise children and dogs together.
- Teach children to be respectful and not hit a dog or pull on a dog’s tail or ears.
- Leave a dog alone when it’s eating, sleeping, or playing alone with its toys.
- Never stare down a dog. Staring could be considered a challenge to a fight.