Friday, July 27, 2012

Dogs & Pups—Safety in Summer Time

There are close to 5 million dog bites each year in the United States (!!!!) with 800,000 requiring medical care; half of those are children. Dog bites are most frequent in summer months, likely because children are outdoors more often and playing in environments where dogs are present (parks, beaches, etc). Also, dogs themselves can have moods—and hot weather may lead to increased agitation and aggression, So, however cute and adorable doggies are, there are also important safety considerations—and summer is a great time for us to explore safety around doggies on the One Sassy Doctor blog. Here are some interesting facts and tips!
  1. Believe it or not, most dog bites are from a dog a child knows well with half being secondary to the family or a neighborhood dog.
  2. Seek medical attention for any dog bite—even if you consider it to be very minor. There may be an infection risk or even need surgical repair.
  3. Just as we discussed vigilance around water the same applies for pet supervision. Always watch a small child around a pet.
  4. When introducing a new pet to a home, or a new baby to a pet, proceed gingerly and cautiously.
  5. Encourage gentle interactions such as soft petting on the back. Avoid having young children touch the doggie face, ears or legs—and make sure to steer clear of playing and petting while doggie is eating.
  6. Don’t go up to a strangers’ dog without talking to the owner and being exceptionally vigilant with the interaction.
  7. Share these tips with anyone who may take care of your child as well.