Why do the holidays increase the risk of dog bites?

On Behalf of | Dec 6, 2021 | Animal Bites

Any dog can bite anyone at any time if it chooses. People often attribute human-like qualities to their pets, and while it can sometimes seem mushy, it can help explain why you need to take extra care around dogs this holiday season.

Think about the people you know. Some you learn to take care around because they could turn on you at any minute and others who are much more docile. Yet even the calmest person can have a bad day and snap at you occasionally. The same applies to dogs.

Dogs get stressed, too

As a human, the holidays can be stressful. You have presents to buy, multi-course meals to cook, kids to round up and relatives to visit or host. Dogs have different stressors to cope with. For example:

  • People invading their space: Having the whole family over can be just as challenging for a dog as a person – especially one that prefers peace and quiet.
  • Loud noises: Loud noises such as fireworks and popping champagne corks scare many dogs, and some may react by biting.
  • Small children wanting to play: Have you ever told your child to stop bothering a particular relative who has reached their limit for the day? Humans can tell your child to stop pulling their ears or to let them rest. Dogs have fewer communication options.

Understanding why dogs may be more likely to bite over the holidays allows you to take precautions. Yet, someone else’s dog is not your responsibility.

If a dog bites you or your child, you need to consider if the owner could have done more to prevent it. While you might feel bad about taking action against someone who invited you over, you may need to do so to recover the considerable medical costs that a dog bite can cause.


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