Having a dog has many benefits for you and your family. For starters, they are very loyal. What I have noticed in my own home is that since we brought home our dog Buddy, my children’s self-esteem has improved along with their social skills.They also have more empathy.
When a child grows up with a pet, their chances of having asthma and allergies reduce, more so if this is within their first year of life. Their immune system generally improves. Not to mention the obvious; children learn to be compassionate, how to have respect for other living things and to be responsible.
There are also benefits for adult dog owners. They tend to have lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels. I guess giving and receiving love is both healthy and therapeutic for both the dog and its owner.
However, we cannot ignore the fact that there are safety precautions that must be taken, here are some dog safety tips to learn and dog safety rules to apply.
The largest percentage of dog bites happen in homes. This is primarily because both children and adults don’t learn dog behavior and thus can’t know how to stay safe around their dogs.
Your dog says a lot using body language. It’ll use the tail, ears, eyes and entire body movements to send a particular message. These are things you and your family should learn and react to in the proper way. This will keep both you and the dog safe from harm.
How do you Know When Your Dog is Calm?
Dog safety rules demand that we are able to read our dogs’ body language. This knowledge can help avoid unpleasant encounters with them. A dog can’t speak and so its body language is the only way we can gauge their emotions and personality.
Calm and Submissive
A calm and submissive dog will have their ears lying in the normal position. Their tail will also droop to the central position and her ears will lie back against her head. She will most likely be seated or lying down. The most submissive dogs will even have their chin on their paws while lying on the floor. When you make eye contact, they will start wagging their tail.
Calm and Assertive
When you see a dog hold up her ears, head and tail with no tension, they are being calm and assertive. They may also wag their tail rhythmically in a moderate to slow speed. A calm and assertive dog will either move forward purposefully or remain still.
What Does Your Dogs Body Language Mean?
Dog safety tips can only apply when you know what your dogs’ body language is communicating to you. Let’s look at how your dog will behave and how that may be interpreted.
With a happy and laid back dog, they will normally have a relaxed, open mouth. It may also pant making them appear to be smiling. Fearful or stressed dogs will purse their lips and shut their mouths. If your dog hasn’t exercised and it isn’t particularly hot but is panting, that signifies stress. Another sign of a stressed dog is one they may drool in the absence of food.
The surest way to tell that a dog is aggressive, is by observing its mouth. They will wrinkle their mouth/muzzle and keep their lip curled leaving their teeth bare. This will most likely be accompanied by a deep growl.
Hackles, fur standing up straight on dogs back, are a dead giveaway of either aggressive or fearful. The fur on a dog’s tail also fans out. However, when dogs are stressed, they may shed hair possibly by the handfuls, which is obviously not something good.
When relaxed, a dog has almond shaped eyes and sometimes might appear as if it is squinting at you. On the other hand, when stressed or fearful, a dog’s pupils will dilate and the whites will be visible around the eyes. The dog will do its best to avoid eye contact with you when stressed or fearful. Do not stare back at the dog. They may take this as a sign of you challenging them and so may react with an aggressive response.
A relaxed dog’s ears will hold their natural state depending on the species. When you spot a dog whose ears are laid back and flat, they may be stressed.
A worried dog is easy to spot. She will have a stiff posture and walk away slowly while making themselves appear smaller.
I bet at some point or another you have come across a dog with its tail tucked in between the legs. That is a sign of fear. On the other hand, a raised tail means that the dog is interested or aroused.
How do you keep safe around animals?
Any animal, however cute or well trained can be dangerous. A kick, bite or scratch can happen even if it’s unprovoked. More often than not, this is to protect their territory and their young. It could also be as a result of certain stressful situations that cause them to act aggressively even towards their owners and others that they are fond of.
That said, to keep safe around animals, only pet or feed those that you are fond of. It would mean that you are certain that they have been vaccinated.
If you are bitten or scratched it is wise to wash off the affected area with soap and water. Next, visit a doctor immediately. Diseases like rabies are life threatening and need immediate shots administered.
Another measure you can take to keep safe around animals is making sure you have medical evacuation insurance and here’s why. If you are in a country that has far apart medical centers with proper care, your insurance makes it possible for you to receive the care you need fast wherever you are.