Beebe and O'Neil

How can I prevent my children from suffering a dog attack?

As a parent, you know how curious and excitable children can get around animals. In Connecticut, there are laws in place that grant you legal recourse if your child suffers a bite or an attack. Preventing that attack from ever happening is understandably your priority, as these incidents can leave physical and emotional scars that last a lifetime.

The American Veterinary Medical Association states that discussing safety around dogs with your children is of the utmost importance. That includes information not only on how to avoid a bite, but also on how humans relate to animals.

For example, dogs can become fearful and aggressive when threatened, which is why children should be taught never to yell, hit or make sudden movements toward any dog. Additionally, dogs that retreat to a bed or crate are probably doing so in order to be left alone. Therefore, children should learn not to approach the animal when it is in such a position.

Other advice from the AVMA includes the following: 

  •        Children should never approach a dog they do not know.
  •        Before petting a dog, children should ask the animal’s owner if it is safe to do so.
  •        As the saying goes, children should let sleeping dogs lie.

It can be tempting to take pictures of a child riding a dog, but this can invite an attack. Similarly, a child who pulls on a dog’s ears or tail may risk a bite as the dog tries to protect itself.

Teaching children animal safety is important no matter if there is a dog in the home or not. While this information may be useful, it should not be taken as legal advice.

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