“Safety is our top priority. We see so many dog bites every summer that could have been
prevented and many time it’s children who are bitten because they are so trusting,” says Alvin
Murray, Animal & Bylaw Services (ABS) North Operation Manager.
“Teaching ourselves and our children how to stay safe is the best way to prevent a dog bite.”
ABS has a few tips to help ensure people and pets interact in a safe and responsible way. Many of
these tips also apply within your own home and with your own pets. ABS is also seeing an
increase in dog bites to children in their own homes.
Safety around dogs
- Always stay away from stray dogs even if you think you know the dog.
- Never try to break up a fight between two animals even if one is your own.
- Never tease a dog, or do anything that may hurt it.
- Never take away a dog’s food or bone, or pull a toy from his mouth.
- Never disturb a dog that’s sleeping or eating.
- Never approach a dog that’s with her puppies.
- Stay away from a dog that has been tied up and left alone in a public place.
- Always keep your face away from dogs.
- Never run away from a dog that scares you. Instead, stand like a tree by making your hands into fists and placing them under your chin. Stand still, do not speak to the dog, and look at the ground. Never stare into the dog’s eyes. Doing these things will show the dog that you are not a threat.
Meeting a dog
- Always ask the owner’s permission to pet the dog first.
- If the owner gives you permission to pet the dog, let the dog sniff your hand, being sure not to place your hand in its face.
- Pet the dog gently under the chin. Do not pet the dog on its head, as not all dogs like to be touched on the top of their heads.
- Neuter your male dog. Unneutered dogs may be more aggressive than neutered dogs.
- Control your dog at all times.
- Do not encourage aggressive behaviour by playing rough or pulling toys or bones from your dog’s mouth.
- Properly socialize your dog.
- Keep your dog out of situations you know may cause problems.