Dog Safety This Holiday

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Kids younger than 10 are bitten by dogs more than any other age group, but that might be because they haven’t been taught how to be around dogs, says the American Humane Association. This holiday season, while kids are boisterous and gatherings are plentiful, be sure your children understand the following:

General Tips for Preventing Dog Bites

1. Use great caution when approaching a strange dog. Don’t try to pet any dog before he sees you and sniffs you.

2. Don’t turn your back to an unfamiliar dog or try to run away. The natural instinct of most dogs will be to give chase and catch you.

3. Don’t attempt to interact with a dog that is sleeping, eating, playing with a toy or bone, or a mother who is with her puppies.

Child Safety With Dogs

• Never leave an infant or a small child alone with a dog, yours or anyone else’s.

• Be careful and respectful of all animals, including your own pets.

• Don’t approach a strange dog or reach through a fence or car window to pet an animal.

• Greet the dog’s owner first and ask permission to pet the dog.

• Keep your face away from the face of an unfamiliar dog.

• If you encounter a strange dog and feel threatened, don’t run or scream. “Be like a tree” and stand still. If a dog knocks you down or you fall, roll into a ball and lie still.

• Don’t make direct eye contact with a dog.

• Tell a parent or other adult if you encounter a stray dog or one that makes you feel threatened.


Susan Swindell Day is the editor in chief of Nashville Parent and the mom of four amazing kids.

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