Matamata Veterinary Services | Latest News

Latest News

Keeping Kids Safe Around Dogs

July 28, 2014

As a parent, one thing I feel very strongly about is preparing children for how to act around dogs.  It is all too often now that we hear of children being the victims of dog bites.  This is one of the reasons Matamata Veterinary Services invites groups of children to come and visit the clinic, or offers a nurse or vet to come to speak to children to discuss both animal health and safety.

Here are some safety tips to keep kids safe around dogs:

  • Check it’s sweet – before you meet!  Before going up to  a dog, ask permission from its owner.  Lots of dogs are friendly, but some aren’t. The owner will tell you if it is safe to approach their dog, but it is important to still be careful.
  • To understand – they sniff your hand!  When meeting a dog, let it sniff the back of your hand.  Dogs use their sense of smell to get to know strangers.
  • Chin or Chest – that’s the best!  After permission is given, stroke only the dog’s chin, chest or shoulders and remember to be gentle.  Dogs don’t really like being patted on their heads by strangers.  They might think you are trying to hurt them.
  • Keep your face out of their space!  Never kiss or put your face down close to a dog’s face.  Even if they don’t want to nip you, they may do accidentally.
  • Don’t run and shout – it freaks us out!  Do not run around or shout near a dog.  Dogs react to the way we behave.  If you shout or run, a dog might chase or attack you.  Playing fetch or obedience games with your dog is better than playing chase or tug-of-war games.
  • A dog is not a toy – don’t tease and annoy!  Dogs can only tell us to stop by growling or biting.  Don’t tease a dog by waving food or a toy in front of them as they may make a grab for it and hurt you by mistake.
  • Quiet and slow is the way to go!  If you are scared of a dog, move quietly and slowly away from them.  Don’t run.  Stand like a tree – stand still, look at your feet and keep your arms in front of you.  Don’t scream or shout.  Walk away quietly and slowly without making eye contact with the dog.  If you stare a dog may think you want to  fight.

Please be safe out there with dogs and contact us if you would like us to visit the clinic or have us visit you.