How to know when to play and when to let sleeping dog lie; dog attack prevention in the home

Haylo Hooman’s and Puggies,

A few weeks ago, I shared a story about my friend and how his fur-child was attacked by another dog as well as provide some tips to help you protect your Puggie(s) should you ever come across a similar situation whilst out on your leisurely stroll around the neighbourhood.

Thankfully that situation is the exception to the rule, but as I eluded to in that post (follow this link if you haven’t read it), ‘Research shows that 80% of hospitalised dog attack victims are bitten in private homes by their own dog, or that of a friend or neighbour’ (see ref 1).

Now I can see that a Puggie is not the first candidate for attacking another human being let alone their family, however, I think sometimes because we have such loving and placid fur-children ourselves that we forget that other breeds are not so kind, and we should be checking the signs first.

The Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI) (VIC) report that (ref 2):

  • ‘Most serious dog attacks (resulting in hospitalisation) occur in the home
  • Children under 5 years are the group most at risk of dog attack, followed by children 5-9 years
  • Children are more likely to be hospitalised due to dog attack than due to a car accident
  • Most children are bitten by their own dog, or by a dog they know, when playing with, patting or feeding it’

Moreover, the DEPI site that (ref 2):

  • ‘Active supervision is the key. Never leave young children (particularly children under 5 years of age) alone with dogs
  • Train and socialise your dog. Understand a little about dog behaviour
  • Don’t allow children to play roughly, tease or corner dogs, and what to do if confronted by an aggressive dog
  • Teach kids when to leave dogs alone e.g. when dogs are asleep, feeding, unwell, with pups, tied up, not with owner, in a car, behind a fence/gate’

Although the above is focused on children and their interaction with dogs, it does apply to all ages and I would recommend printing off the following “don’ts” list and/or pictogram to keep on the fridge and refer to when needed.

Don’ts for dogs list (ref 2)

  • ‘Don’t tease
  • Don’t disturb when sick
  • Don’t approach angry dogs
  • Don’t cuddle face to face
  • Don’t disturb when sleeping
  • Don’t disturb when feeding
  • Don’t approach frightened dogs
  • Don’t allow dogs near parties
  • Don’t disturb when with pups
  • Don’t climb on fences’

I know that every now and again I have to remind myself that just because Winston and Charles are OK for me to do certain things with them, such as give them face-to-face cuddles, they may not like it from other people, and another person’s fur-child many not like it either. I recommend erring on the side of caution until you get to know what OK is and what is not with someone else’sPuggie/dog.

Regardless of how careful you are, there is always a chance you or a loved one will be bitten by a dog and you will need to apply first aid until you can get medical assistance.

Medical advice is that regardless of the size or depth of a dog bite, you should seek medical care within 8 hours of the incident to ensure there is no chance of infection. ‘A dog’s front teeth will grab and compress your tissue, and their smaller teether can also tear your skin. The result is an open, jagged wound.’ (Ref 3)

So, once you have removed yourself or the person who has been bitten to a safe location, it is recommended that you undertake the following first aid steps immediately:

  1. ‘Press on the wound gently to cause some bleeding to help flush out as much bacteria as possible
  2. Wash the wound with mild soap and water
  3. Slow the bleeding with a clean cloth
  4. Apply over the counter antibiotic cream if you have it
  5. Wrap the wound in a sterile bandage. Keep the wound bandaged and see your Doctor
  6. Change the bandage several time a day once your Doctor has examined the wound
  7. Watch for signs of infection, including redness, swelling, increased pain and fever.’ (Ref 3)

    No one wants to think that their fur-child would ever hurt someone in the family or in their close circle of friends, but as much as we think of our fur-children as a member of the family they do communicate with us differently and we need to be mindful of the signs and signals they are giving before it’s too late.

    With more and more Councils changing their by-laws in regard to dog attacks, the last thing you want is for your fur-child, or the fur-child of a friend/family member, to be put down due to a bite, or worse an attack that has also lead to the hospitalisation of a loved one.

    So please print off the ‘don’t’s’ list and/or the pictogram to keep close on hand to remind everyone when you should leave your fur-child alone and reduce the risk of something unpleasant happening to someone you love.

    Until next week Puggies have a wonderful week and look forward to seeing and hearing about your adventures and photos on our Facebook and Instagram account.

     

    From Donna

     

    Proud Pug-mum to Winston and Charles

    Founder of Pug Parties


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    #home #dogattack #protection #prevention #guide #firstaid

    References:

    1. http://agriculture.vic.gov.au/pets/dogs/dog-attacks-dangerous-and-menacing-dogs
    2. Department of Environment and Primary Industries – www.depi.vic.gov.au/pets
    3. ‘If a Dog Bites You, Do these 7 things now’, https://health.clevelandclinic.org/if-a-dog-bites-you-do-these-7-things-now/

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