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Dog Safety Do's And Don'ts

Everyone loves dogs, and it’s sometimes hard to remember that all dogs aren’t like Fido at home. When encountering unfamiliar dogs, use these helpful safety tips to keep you and your family safe.

Do . . .

  • Ask the owner’s permission before petting any dog. (Remember, the owner doesn’t have to say “yes”, and if they don’t, there’s probably a good reason for it.)
  • Hold your hand in a relaxed fist with the fingers pointing down and closed so the dog can sniff them.
  • Teach your children to respect all dogs and all animals.
  • Supervise small children’s play with dogs and puppies.
  • Heed a dog’s warning: barking, growling, ears laid back, showing teeth, hair standing up on back, legs stiff, tail up.
  • Remain quiet and calm around dogs and speak softly. Sometimes loud noises and quick movements frighten a dog.
  • Respect a dog's personal space, the same as you want people to respect yours.
  • Give your dog unconditional love and care.

Don’t . . .
  • Approach a dog that is eating, sleeping or caring for puppies.
  • Try to get a bone or toy out of a dog's mouth.
  • Put your face in a dog’s face.
  • Approach an unfamiliar dog or a dog running loose, even if you think you know the dog.
  • Run up on a dog. You might startle them.
  • Touch the tail, ears or paws.
  • Hit a dog, tease or play rough games.
  • Try to pet a growling or barking dog.