How to prevent dog bites during the holidays

The holidays are a common time for children to suffer dog bites. Controlling pets during the holiday season is important to prevent potentially serious injuries to children.

Children between the ages of 5 and 9 are more likely to be bitten by dogs than any other age group. And the dog bites usually come from canines who are adults between the age of 2 and 5. Those who are bitten may need post-exposure rabies treatments.

The holiday season can be a rather stressful time of year for pets, experts say, because there is a lot of commotion, strangers entering and leaving the house and lots of kids running around.

The Meaford Independent has an interesting article about ways to prevent such dog bites during busy holiday times. Here are a few tips offered.

• Respect the dog’s space, including food and toys.

• Place the dog in a separate room or a place where they can have some peace and quiet.

• Ask permission before petting a dog if you are unsure of its demeanor, especially if children are around.

• Make changes in the environment if it will make the dog feel safer.

• Never place a baby or small child on the floor near a dog, even a trusted pet. It may also be best to keep the baby’s door closed.

• Watch out for stress signals from pets, such as turning away, closed mouth or lip licking.

What about you? How do you handle your pets during the holiday season?

Source: The Meaford Independent, “‘Tis the season for dog bites,” Dec. 20, 2011