Join Club

The Chew: Dog Bite Prevention Tips

The following bi-weekly column is written and sponsored by Bark + Boarding, which provides a heart-centered and safe environment for your pets. Conveniently located at 5818-C Seminary Road in Bailey’s Crossroads, Bark & Boarding offers doggy daycare, boarding, grooming, walking and training services, plus in-home pet care.

By Chelsea Pennington, Bark + Boarding Writer and Animal Enthusiast

Each year in the U.S., between 4.5 and 5 million people are bitten by dogs.

While most of these bites are not serious, they are almost all preventable, either from the pet owner training their dog better or from people knowing how to recognize the warning signs. Whether you’re a dog owner or just someone who might like to pet a dog every now and then, there are some simple steps you can take to help prevent dog bites.

Tips For Dog Owners

Socialize your dog — Socializing your dog, especially when they’re young, helps them to feel more comfortable in different situations. Dogs bite because they are scared and feel the need to defend themselves, so introducing them to a variety of people, animals and places when they’re a puppy helps teach them they don’t need to protect themselves.

Always use a leash — If you’re in a public space, always keep your dog on a leash so that you can have control over them. This isn’t mean, but rather a precaution to make sure everyone stays safe. Teaching your dog basic commands like sit, stay, no and come can also help you manage your dog in situations that might cause them to disobey.

Give your dog enough exercise — Dogs that have pent up energy are tense and anxious, and this can make them more likely to bite. Making sure they have plenty of time to play and release this energy in a different way will alleviate this problem.

Talk to your vet about spaying or neutering — Often, intact dogs are more aggressive than those that have been neutered or spayed. The timing of this procedure varies for each dog, so be sure to talk with your vet about when is best to go forward, and mention any aggressive tendencies you may have noticed in your dog.

Tips For Interacting With A Dog

Avoid risky situations — There are some instances when it is simply not the right time to approach a dog, no matter how cute it is. If the dog isn’t with its owner, is on the other side of a fence, is sleeping or eating, is sick or injured, is playing with a toy, or appears to be trying to hide or get away, it’s best to leave them alone.

Always ask permission — If the dog is with their owner, always ask the owner first if it’s okay to pet the dog. Even if it looks friendly, you never know the dog’s history and what might startle it or be a trigger. Checking with the owner is the only way to know for certain that the dog is willing to be pet.

Read body language — Dogs have their way of communicating feelings, even without speaking. An aggressive dog will try to make itself appear bigger: its tail might be straight up and out, its ears might be perked and forward, or the fur on its back might stand on end. An anxious dog will do the opposite, and try to look smaller.

This might involve shrinking to the ground, putting its tail between its legs, or avoiding eye contact. In both cases, if pushed, the dog could end up biting, so walk away slowly and calmly so that you don’t further startle the dog.

Learn to use body language — If an unknown dog approaches you, or for some reason you can’t get away from a dog who seems to be feeling anxious or aggressive, you can also use body language to communicate with them. Look down and don’t make eye contact, as this is seen as a challenge.

Turn the side of your body toward them instead of facing them directly, which can be perceived as a threat. Move slowly and deliberately and don’t shout, but rather say firmly, “No” or “Go home.”

Teach your children dog etiquette — Sadly, most dog bites happen to children. Teach them to always ask an owner’s permission to pet a dog, and to not approach a dog that isn’t with its owner.

They shouldn’t be allowed to wrestle or play roughly with a dog, as this might lead to biting. Children under 10 shouldn’t be left alone with a dog ever, even if you have been reassured the dog is well-behaved.

Looking for more tips, interested in adorable pet pics or just want to get more information on what we do? Stay connected with Bark + Boarding on FacebookInstagram and our website.

Click here to check out our short video about this article

Mention this article for a free evaluation and click here to sign up for one today. If you have a question about your pet, feel free to come in or email [email protected] any time.

Recent Stories

More Arlington properties could be impacted by 100- and 500-year floods, according to new federal flood insurance rate maps. The county estimates some 300 buildings, up from 172, now risk…

Costs are creeping up for a courtroom makeover in Arlington. County Board members approved an extra $200,000 this past Saturday to complete renovations in Courtroom 10B, a project ambitiously dubbed…

Gardens with abundant native species could soon have an official definition in county code: “managed natural landscape.” This definition would protect Arlingtonians who grow the kinds of native grasses, wildflowers…

Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups, founders, and other local technology news. Monday Properties is proudly featuring Three…

Arlington Travel Basketball (ATB) will be conducting tryouts for our 2023-24 teams beginning Tuesday 10/2.

There is no charge for these tryouts.

Interested players must pre-register and attend at least 2 tryouts to be considered for a team.

ATB will field teams in grades 5 – 8; 4th graders are eligible to attend.

Read More

Submit your own Announcement here.

Thorough Testing

Sometimes mold is easy to spot, but you don’t know how deep inside your walls it has spread. It can grow in sinks, cabinets, and other places you frequent every day. If you find mold, the question remains: Do I call a professional? Thistle Environmental, LLC believes in quality, comprehensive testing.

CALL NOW: (703) 929-4036

Submit your own Announcement here.

Equality Arlington Coming Out Party

Come celebrate National Coming Out Day at Equality Arlington’s Coming Out Party on Wednesday, October 11th from 7-8:30 PM at Busboys and Poets (Shirlington)! Senator Adam Ebbin is our featured speaker and we will have Arlingtonians sharing what coming out

NY Cat Film Festival

Experience through film the beauty of our relationships to cats. This unique film is a compilation of shorts with a feline theme which premieres every year in New York City and then travels to venues across the United States. This


Subscribe to our mailing list