How to Prevent Dog Bites

Posted April 14th, 2010
by HomeownersInsurance.org Staff (no comments)

One of the most common types of homeowners insurance claims has to do with dog bites. When a dog in your home bites a visitor, you are more than likely liable. Because dog bites can be very dangerous in some cases, it is important to do what you can to keep your dog or dogs in line, and prevent dog bites altogether if possible. If you can manage to keep your dogs from biting, your guests will be safer, and your homeowners insurance premiums won’t go up.

You need to understand, first of all, that this is a serious problem. It’s estimated that around a million dog bites occur each year. Of those, nearly two thirds of the victims are children. Elderly folks, as well as home service workers like utility meter readers and postal workers are frequent victims, too.

Here are some things you can do to prevent dog bites:

  • Choose your dog wisely. Pick a breed that’s known for good behavior, and that will fit well with your family.
  • Keep your dog socialized. Expose your puppy to people early on. This will help him to be more at ease around people as he gets older. Make sure to expose your puppy to new situations just a bit at a time so that she’s not overwhelmed.
  • Train your dog. Even the basic commands like “sit,” “come” and “no” are extremely useful, and they help you to maintain control of your dog.
  • Avoid aggressive games. Wrestling with your dog or playing tug-of-war tends to make her more aggressive in general.
  • Make sure your dog is healthy. Get him vaccinated against infectious diseases as well as rabies. Keep parasites under control, as they can affect your dog’s behavior, too.
  • Know your dog. Recognize when your dog isn’t feeling well, or when he’s looking particularly aggressive, and keep him away from strangers at those times.
  • Neuter your dog. Neutered dogs are much less likely to bite.

If your dog does bite someone, get the dog away from the attack and confine it. Treat the victim’s wounds, and get professional medical advice as soon as possible. Consider calling emergency services to get it taken care of as quickly as possible, or proceed to the emergency room.

Photo via Randy Son Of Robert

Categories: Advice

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