Make sure your children know how to behave around dogs

August 31, 2010

Back-to-school time is a great opportunity to teach kids how to be safe around dogs. From Dr. Marty Becker and Gina Spadafori in this week’s Pet Connection newspaper feature:

Hardly a day goes by when there isn’t a news story about a dog attack somewhere. When school starts, children may become especially vulnerable, walking and biking through their neighborhoods to class. That’s why every year we like to remind parents to review safety around strange dogs with their children.

To be fair, dogs aren’t the biggest risk that children face growing up. Organized sports, for example, are 10 times more likely to result in a child’s trip to the emergency room than are dogs.

And although in most cases the dog involved in a serious attack is the family’s own, it’s also true that many neighborhoods are not safe for walking or biking because of a dog. These animals are accidents waiting to happen because their owners either don’t know or don’t care that their dogs are a public menace.

The experts say the signs are usually there long before a dog attacks. The dog is typically young, male and unneutered. He is usually unsocialized, a backyard dog with little to no interaction with the family. He is often inadvertently trained to be vicious by being kept full-time on a chain or in a small kennel run.

Is there a dog like this in your neighborhood — or in your own yard?

And from Dr. Becker and Mikkel Becker in “The Buzz,” news about a human medication that’s causing troubling side effects in pets:

The spreading popularity of topical hormone treatments in people — especially, but not exclusively, among menopausal women — is having unintended medical consequences for pets, according to the Veterinary Information Network News Service. The news service reports that veterinarians have seen both male and female dogs with alarming changes in the appearance of their genitalia, as well as fur loss. The problem is easy to avoid: Use disposable gloves to apply the creams, and confine them to an area of the body that will be under clothing, so that pets are not exposed to the active ingredients. The advice is even more critical now that the FDA has warned of problems related to the creams in children as well.

Read this week’s complete feature here!

Filed under: behavior and training,pets, connected,veterinary medicine — Pet Connection Staff @ 5:03 am

1 Comment »

  1. Not just “children” but anyone who might be at heightened risk for dog attacks such as seniors and visiting tradespeople – they might need slightly different guidelines, but I’m sure many of the same safety rules apply to them.

    Comment by CatPrrson — August 31, 2010 @ 1:01 pm

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