May 17th-23rd is Dog Bite Prevention Awareness week, so I would like to take the time to give this particular week the awareness that is so desperately deserves. Many dog bites are preventable but most people unfortunately do NOT know the different things that they can do to prevent such incidents. The most common dog bites occur with children. A big reason behind this is that all kids think that pets are always friendly and therefore want to pet and love on them. I mean really, who doesn’t always want to love on animals???? I know I do! But I was taught at a very young age a hard life lesson when I lifted a poodle up from its belly that it was NOT such a good idea and I was bit in the lip.

What I didn’t know was that this pet had had surgery not long ago and therefore was very painful in the abdominal area. The entire occurrence happened so quickly that no one had the time to explain this to me. Fortunately I was okay and so was the pet. After this incident I was told that from now on, in order to have any socialization with a pet, I had to ask my parent if it was okay to approach the pets owner and then at that point ask the owner if it was okay to pet their animal. A big lesson that we need to teach children is how to act and handle themselves around pets. Especially ones that they do not know. Always make to have them ask the owner if the pet is friendly and does well with children and strangers (If the child is young enough, the parent may be the one to ask these important questions). Do not feel hurt or upset should the owner explain that you cannot pet their animal, as it may be the best for your personal safety as well as the pets. This can also be an issue with adults, being to forward with pets. The next thing when approaching a pet after asking for permission from the owner is then allow for the pet to come to you. Let them sniff your hand and make the first gesture, a lot of the time a pet will bow their head to allow for you to pet them. Try to stay on top of the head and maybe the back, never go towards the tail or appendages as some pets do not like those areas touched. Ears can sometimes be a no no spot, but normally if the owner allows for their pet to be touched, they will also let you know the areas NOT to touch. Our biggest goal is to keep both the person and pet as safe as possible. I could continue to go on and on, but I think I will save that for another blog post. Hope that you all have a wonderful weekend, and remember to teach your kids as well as taking the time yourself to ask if a pet is friendly or not!