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Safety Tips for Kids: Loose Dogs

The majority of pet owners are responsible about keeping their pets on a leash or confined to their property. However, there are occasions when someone’s dog may get out of their house or yard and unfortunately, there are also some people who are not as responsible about the keeping of their pets.

One thing that can be a concern for parents is the safety of their children should they be approached by a loose dog when playing outside. Following, are some safety tips and facts to teach your children:

  • Don’t panic. Remember, most dogs are friendly. Try not to panic if one approaches you. Don’t assume that he’s friendly, but don’t assume that he’s vicious either.
  • Don’t look at the dog. Regardless of whether or not the dog is friendly, children should always avoid having direct contact with any dog they do not know. Dogs communicate through body language and eye contact. By avoiding eye contact, the dog is much more likely to continue on its way and not come right up to you.
  • Don’t run. No matter how fast a runner you may be, a dog can always run faster. It is almost certain that if you run, a dog will chase you. Friendly dogs will do it out of playfulness and aggressive dogs might feel empowered.
  • Be a tree. Stand still and don’t wave your arms around or yell. Avoid looking at the dog and just wait for it to go away. Chances are, it will just walk off.
  • Tell a grown-up. Once the dog is gone, be sure to tell an adult what happened. Perhaps they might recognize the dog and call a neighbor to whom it may belong. If it seems friendly, an adult may choose to go outside and try to view the dog’s tags to call the owner, or if it seems unfriendly a call to Animal Control may be justified.

When it comes to safety when playing outside, educating children about loose dogs is another step toward ensuring their well-being. Taking a few minutes to go over these tips can help prevent a simple occurrence from turning into an incident.