As much as pet owners want to believe that their family pet loves unconditionally, dogs get scared or agitated just like everyone else. Our New Jersey dog bite lawyers know that the holidays can be particularly stressful for family pets, so parents and pet owners are reminded to keep a close eye on children and pets in order to reduce the risk of a dog-related injury in Monmouth County or elsewhere this holiday season.
According to American Humane Association, children under 12-years-old are involved in 50 percent of dog attacks. Sadly, 70 percent of deaths caused by a dog bite are children under the age of 10. Furthermore, newborns who are left unsupervised are 370 times more likely to be killed by a dog than an adult. The vast majority (82 percent) of emergency room visits for dog bite treatments are children 14-years-old or younger. The rate of dog bites is significantly higher for children 5 to 9 than for any other age group. Though most child injuries from dog bites occur to the head or neck, many injuries require reconstructive surgery when a child loses a finger or ear from a dog attack.
Pet owners are reminded of these staggering statistics because there is bound to be a lot of activity in your household from now until the end of the year. Lots of action and high amounts of activity can change a dog’s normal routine and make them become stressed and more prone to dog bites. If you have children visiting your home for the holidays, offer these pet safety tips to avoid accidents or injuries:
-Talk in a quiet voice rather than shout in the presence of a dog.
-Avoid rapid movements. A dog will tend to chase someone or something that runs so walk slowly or stand still if an unfamiliar dog approaches you.
-Dogs need lots of love so don’t kick, bite, slap or pull on flapping body parts like ears or tails to get their attention. Instead, stroke their fur or pat their head to make them calmer.
-Never arouse a dog from sleep and avoid trying to play with them when they are eating or playing alone with a toy or bone.
-Dogs are protective and territorial of what they consider their own possessions so trying to disrupt or take them often leads a dog to snap or bite.
-Puppies play rough until they are trained otherwise so avoid letting small children play with a puppy that has extremely sharp teeth and can puncture the skin of a child rather easily.
Parents attending a holiday party with a strange pet should remind their children of three steps when meeting a dog for the first time. According to Living with Kids and Dogs the first step is to ask the owner if it is permitted to pet the dog. The next step is to ask the dog if they want to be petted. Dogs can convey body language as a true indicator of how they are feeling. The third step in meeting a dog is to pet them if the owner and dog say it is OK. A child should remain calm and pet the dog with long easy strokes along the length of their body.
Avoid dog bite incidents this holiday season by using a keen sense of alertness around your pet and any children who are visiting.
The dog bite lawyers at Villani & DeLuca, P.C. assist dog bite victims and their families who have been bitten or attacked in South Jersey. If your child has suffered an injury call 1-888-299-0562 for a free and confidential appointment to discuss the details of your claim with an experienced injury lawyer today.
More Blog Entries:
Halloween Costumes Put Children at Risk of Dog Bite Injury, New Jersey Dog Bite Lawyer Blog, October 19, 2011.
New Jersey Dog Attacks Often Involve Young Children Left Alone with a Family Pet, New Jersey Dog Bite Lawyer Blog, September 28, 2011.
Child Dog Bite Victims in New Jersey Most at Risk of Head or Neck Injuries, New Jersey Dog Bite Lawyer Blog, August 17, 2011.