Pet safety: How to protect yourself from dogs

Pet safety: How to protect yourself from dogs

Here is how you can ensure that you are safe around dogs.

Pitbull /iStock

Over the weekend, South Africans were shocked to see a video of a three-year-old boy who was mauled to death by a pit bull in the Free State.

In November, an eight-year-old boy was also mauled to death by a neighbour's pit bull in Bloemfontein. 

READ: Free State toddler mauled to death by pit bull

These are just but a few cases. It is reported that pit bulls make up only 6% of the dog population, but they’re responsible for 68% of dog attacks and 52% of dog-related deaths since 1982.

However, according to an ASPCA report, "a well-socialized and well-trained pit bull is one of the most delightful, intelligent, and gentle dogs imaginable.”

Dogbite has shed light on what to do to stay safe when you come across a dog: 

- Do not pet a dog without first letting it see you, even when you know the dog!

- Do not lean your face close to a dog.

- Never approach an unfamiliar dog. If the dog wants contact with you, it will approach you in a friendly manner.

- Do not tease a dog, especially a chained or tethered dog.

- Do not startle a sleeping dog.

- Do not play aggressive games with your dog.

- Do not bother a dog that is eating.

- Do not disturb a dog that is caring for puppies.

- Do not turn your back on a dog and run away.

CDC reports that nearly one in five people bitten by a dog requires medical attention.

This is why it is important to know what to do when you think you might be at risk of being bitten by a dog. 

The website reports that: 

- Don’t approach an unfamiliar dog.

- Don’t run from a dog.

- Don’t panic or make loud noises.

- Don’t disturb a dog that is sleeping, eating, or caring for puppies.

- Don’t pet a dog without allowing it to see and sniff you first.

- Don’t encourage your dog to play aggressively.

- Don’t let small children play with a dog unsupervised.

If you are under attack: 

- Put your purse, bag, or jacket between you and the dog.

- If you are knocked down, curl into a ball with your head tucked in and your hands over your ears and neck.

- Wash wounds with soap and water or seek medical attention. 

READ: NSPCA calls for introduction of permits to own pit bull as pets

Image courtesy of iStock/ @GabyCalvo

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