Dogs are great companions for kids. Nothing is more adorable than toddlers running around the yard with their dog or playing with the fur companion in the house.
Additionally, having a pet dog around children helps your kids learn responsibility and how to respect animals from a young age.
However, a lack of proper dog training and unsupervised interaction may result in cases of dog attacks. Recent studies indicate that children are the number one victims of dog attacks, with 77% of these attacks coming from a known family pet.
But worry not, as there are several simple rules you can teach your children to prevent dog attacks.
1. Always Have Supervised Interaction With the Dog
Dogs have a different social language compared to humans. Young children may not know how to read a dog’s body language to tell whether or not the dog is in the mood to play.
For example, a child may innocently pull the dog’s tail or ear, startling the dog, and cause the animal to react by snarling at your kid. Even though a dog snarl is often a sign of anger, pain, or threat to attack, kids may not understand this, meaning they are at great risk of dog attacks.
That’s why kids must understand the importance of having an adult around to guide them on what to do and what not to do when playing with a dog.
2. Do Not Interrupt the Dog During Meals
Resource guarding is a common behavioral problem among many dog breeds. Most dogs tend to be very possessive with their food, treats, and play toys.
Approaching the dog during meal time may be misconstrued as a threat to the animal. And as a result, the dog may react aggressively toward the child as it tries to protect its food. Therefore, children should be advised to keep a safe distance from the dog during meal times.
3. Always Keep a Safe Distance From the Dog
Dogs love their personal space. Young children may sometimes get too close to the dog, making the animal see this as a threat and react aggressively, causing injury.
Children should keep a safe distance from dogs, especially pets new to the family. Ideally, the dog can be put in a separate room from the kids when there is no adult supervision to ensure your kids stay safe.
4. Not All Dogs Are Friendly
Some dogs may exhibit aggressive behavior for several reasons, such as sickness, pregnancy, or a history of abuse.
Children should be taught to always ask for permission from the dog’s owner before petting the fur babies. Dog owners can tell when their dog is in a playful and calm mood and when the animal may be aggressive.
When dealing with aggressive dogs, one needs to stay calm and avoid eye-to-eye contact with the dog. Dogs view eye to eye contact as a show of dominance and will, in turn, attack to regain dominance.
But Can You Sue if A Dog bites Your Child?
Yes, you may be able to sue and recover compensation if a dog has bitten your child. However, it is important to note that you must first seek medical attention to ensure your child’s well-being. Seeing a doctor will also help tie your kid’s injury to the dog attack.
Additionally, you will need to file a police report.
Because proving that your child was a victim of a dog owner’s negligence can get complicated, it is important to hire a lawyer that specializes in dog bites to help you. A skilled lawyer will evaluate your case to establish if you can hold the dog owner liable for your child’s injury and work with you to ensure you recover the rightful compensation.