Dog bites are serious business. A particularly angry dog can do a lot of damage to a fully-grown adult human, even if the dog is small or generally well-behaved. Even worse, the people most likely to receive dog bites are children.
Because of this, it is vital that children understand how to interact with dogs. Particularly if you are considering getting a dog as a pet, taking appropriate precautions prior can help keep everybody safe. According to Kids Health, instructing your children in robust safety precautions and selecting the right breed of dog as a family pet can prevent injury.
General safety precautions
Children should always know to first ask the owner of a dog if it is okay to interact with the animal. If the owner says that it is okay, teach your child to offer a hand to the dog so that the dog can sniff it. Many dog bites happen because a child accidentally startles the animal.
Running around dogs is also not a good idea. Children should also never squeeze a dog or pull on its tail or ears. Trying to pet or interact with a dog while it is eating can also be dangerous and inspire a bite.
Before getting a dog
It is smart to take the time and discuss your situation with a veterinarian before getting a dog. The veterinarian can help make breed recommendations for your household. Before taking a dog home, whether you are getting it from a breeder or a shelter, make sure to inquire as to the behavioral background of the dog. Dogs with a history of aggression should not live in a household with children.