You may have brought that furry bundle of joy home to entertain the kids, provide companionship or serve as a neighborhood watch, but that four-legged friend could become your own liability when you haven’t taken the proper safety precautions necessary when owning a dog.
In fact, dogs bite more than 4.7 million Americans each year – half of them children. And there’s no easier way to say goodbye to your canine companion than allowing them rein over your home and street. So if this year will bring your family a new pooch, take heed to the following tips – your neighborhood and the courts may thank you.
Pick the right dog for your family – Some that are generally safe with children are collies and Labradors, but check with a veterinarian or trainer to gauge the specific behaviors of various breeds.
Socialize – Make sure your puppy learns to interact with people – especially children – when very young.
Train – Obedience school can do wonders for a stubborn dog.
Neuter – Since hormones affect a dog’s aggression, neutering them can curb their desire to bite.
Watch – Never leave a dog alone with a child.
Teach the kids – Teach kids when to leave a dog alone – like when he/she is sleeping or caring for puppies.
Let’s keep man’s best friend your best friend this year.