May 15-21, 2011 is Dog Bite Prevention Week. Young children account for the largest percentage of dog bite victims; however, with a few precautions, bites can be reduced. The Etobicoke Humane Society offers the following bite-prevention tips:
Ask for permission before petting someone else’s dog.
Look at the dog’s paws while you greet him, not directly into their eyes.
Pet the dog on the side of its neck or on its chest.
Move your hand away slowly when you’ve finished petting an animal.
Pay attention to the animal’s body language and warning signs.
Move away sideways and slowly if the dog is not interested.
“Stand Like a Tree” if a strange dog approaches you.
Respect older dogs.
Respect and keep away from injured or ill dogs.
Respect a dog’s resting and feeding places.
Behave calmly around dogs.
Approach a dog only if he is awake.
Leave mother animals and their babies alone.
Always act kindly and gently.
Pet stray dogs running loose.
Stare into a dog’s eyes.
Try to touch a dog’s puppies.
Bother a dog while it’s eating.
Put your hand into a car, crate, through a fence or window or anywhere a dog is confined.
Touch an injured or sick animal; instead, call for adult assistance.
Try to give a dog a hug or kiss.
Drop a treat in front of a dog.
Sneak up on or scare a dog.
Sit on a dog’s back.
Put your face up to a dog’s face.
Approach a dog that is tied-up.
Enter the property where a dog lives to retrieve a lost ball or other object.
Pull your hand away or back away from a dog as he tries to sniff.
Back or run away from a dog that is growling or barking – movement is an action trigger for dogs.
Interact with any dog unless there is an adult supervising.
Play rough with a dog (including tug-of-war and chase-me games).