The holidays can be a stressful time for dog owners. Pet owners have a responsibility to ensure their pets don’t hurt anyone, and that responsibility becomes harder to maintain when your house is full of guests and young children. However, pet owners can avoid accidental dog bites. Here are some tips you can use during the holidays and throughout the year to prevent your dog from biting someone and increasing your liability.
Pet owners need to let people know when it’s okay to pet their dog or not. Many people assume that all pets are meant to be petted, but that’s not the case with every dog. Some dogs can become aggressive with people they don’t know, especially if the dog has a past history of abuse. Pet owners should make this clear if anyone asks if it’s okay to pet their dog.
During the holidays, pet owners should keep this advice in mind when deciding where to keep pets during holiday parties and other festivities. You can warn most children and adults at the party to leave dogs alone. However, smaller kids are less likely to understand the warning. In these situations, it may make more sense for pet owners to keep their dogs in another room where they won’t be disturbed by kids that could lead to a biting situation.
Keep in mind that dog bites can be severe, depending on the size and power of the dog. If you think your dog, or your guests, are better served by keeping your dog locked away for some time during the holidays, that may be the best way to go.
According to the CDC, “Children are at the highest risk for dog bites. Small children should never be allowed to play with dogs unsupervised.”
There are many safety tips that small children haven’t learned for dealing with dogs. For example, older kids and adults know not to bother a dog that’s sleeping, eating, caring for puppies, or has a toy. Speaking of toys, dog owners should be careful to avoid aggressive play with their dogs, which can turn into a biting situation when your dog, or a visiting friend, get your dog too riled up.
It’s also vital for people to know the risks involved with owning a dog. Knowing the statistics behind do bite facts can make owners more likely to take the necessary precautions to keep their dogs away from hurting anyone. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, “Nearly 1 in 5 people bitten by a dog requires medical attention.” Also, there are multiple diseases that a person can catch by being bitten by a dog that hasn’t had their shots.
Though this point is hardly worth noting, having a dog in your household is linked to a higher likelihood of being bitten than not having a dog. What people may not realize that adults with two or more dogs in the household are five times more likely to be bitten than those living without dogs at home.
Keeping your dog, and guests, out of harm’s way during the holiday can help you avoid unnecessary medical bills and legal liability. If you’ve been attacked by a dog and need legal advice, the Law Firm of Steve Watrel, P.A., can help.