How to Prevent Dog Bites

A dog on a leash

Dog bites are an unfortunately common type of personal injury. Many adults have suffered from dog bites, but it’s actually more common for children to be the victims. As a pet owner, you bear the responsibility for injuries caused by your dog. If your dog is determined to be dangerous, this can lead to extra responsibility and stress for both you and your dog. Dog bites are preventable, though. Below are some tips you can follow to help protect your dog and others and avoid a dog bite altogether.

Train and Socialize Your Dog

You can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but you can teach a young dog how to interact with people. Socializing dogs can help them to interact safely with a variety of adults, children, and animals. Training dogs to obey commands like sit, come, stay, and down can also help keep everyone safe and calm in social settings. In most cases, it’s better to train your dog when he or she is still a puppy. If you have a rescue or an older dog, talk to your veterinarian or a dog behaviorist about ways to train your dog.

Lower Your Dog’s Aggression through Routine Care

Giving your dog ample time to exercise and play will help lower your dog’s aggression. Spaying or neutering your dog will also help with this. If your dog isn’t feeling well or is in pain, he or she may begin to feel anxious or angry, which can lead to aggression. Routine care, like regular vet visits, can help to keep your dog healthy and happy.

Educate Others on How to Approach Your Dog

If you have friends or family coming to visit, give them a heads up about your dog’s behavior. Maybe your dog loves meeting new people but can get a little too excited if approached in a certain way. Maybe your dog is skittish and new people make him or her nervous. Whatever the case, telling others how to approach your dog can help your dog feel safe and your visitors have good interactions with the dog.

Avoid Situations that Put Your Dog or Others at Risk

When you’re out and about with your dog, don’t leave him or her unsupervised. Don’t allow infants or small children to be unsupervised around your dog either. Keep your dog on a leash if you’re out for a walk or visiting a dog park. If your dog doesn’t handle crowds well, keep him or her at home and away from busy events. Knowing your dog and understanding the situations he or she can handle will help you determine what’s risky from what’s safe.

Watch Your Dog’s Body Language

As the dog’s owner, you are responsible for knowing and understanding your dog’s body language. Look out for signs of fear or aggression to determine if you need to remove your dog from a certain situation. If your dog displays unusual behaviors, you can always consult a professional to help you determine the cause and put your dog at ease again.

If you get into a legal bind, Cornerstone Law Firm can help.

The attorneys at Cornerstone Law Firm can help you stay up to date on dog laws in Pennsylvania and protect your rights as a dog owner. If you need legal help, give us a call. We’d be happy to review your case and discuss your options.