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5 tips for preventing dog bites

Dogs can be adorable pets and fun members of your family. Unfortunately, canine companions will still do things that are instinctive to them even if you've trained them not to. Some dogs will bite for no apparent reason at all, while others will snap if they feel threatened or scared in some way. Regardless, as a pet owner, it's your responsibility to guarantee that your pets are constantly contained so they cannot bite and/or injure a stranger. In America, medical attention is given to almost 800,000 people each year for dog bites. These incidents and the costs related to them may decrease if pet owners are more aware and responsible with their dogs.

1. Watch body language

Dogs will show you in their body language that they are tense and angry before they act. Watch for a stiff tail, pulled-back ears, flicking tongue, tensed body, yawning or backing away from something that makes them uncomfortable.

2. Walk, never run

If your dog seems tense and anxious, the last thing you should do is turn and run away. If they are showing aggressive signs to another, encourage that person to walk away slowly. The dog's first instinct is to chase you when you run.

3. Always walk with a leash

Your dog may be sweet and cuddly at home, but all it takes is the wrong encounter for them to lose control. When you are walking your dog anywhere outdoors, make sure they are contained. Keep them in a fence around your yard or on a leash if you are on a walk. This saves you the worry and keeps the dog safer.

4. Spay or neuter

Dogs lose some of their aggressive tendencies when they are spayed or neutered. Responsible pet owners must make a conscious choice about how to handle their dog's reproductive abilities, but should always remember that unneutered dogs can be more aggressive.

5. Supervise

Never let your dog run loose around your neighborhood, or even in your home if you have guests or small children. Your dog cannot voice what triggers its fear or anxiety, and you never know when something will come out of the blue. If you are there when your dog is around strangers or small children, you can minimize the damage if something does occur.

Dog bites can lead to serious injuries and in extreme cases even death. If you or someone you love has been injured by a pet owner's negligence, you may benefit from speaking to an attorney about your options for compensation.

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