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Dog bites prevention and awareness

To help prevent dog bites, children should be taught these basic safety rules which should be reviewed on a regular basis:

  • Refrain from approaching lone dogs.
  • Refrain from running and shouting when you see a dog unknown to you or a dog on its own.
  • Refrain from moving and bring your hands to your neck when a lone dog is approaching.
  • If the dog knocks you down, roll into a bali and stay still.
  • Refrain from playing with a dog without adult supervision.
  • lmmediately inform an adult upon seeing a free roaming dog or a dog displaying strange behaviour.
  • Avoid looking dogs directly in the eyes.
  • Avoid disturbing dogs when they are sleeping, eating, caring for puppies or playing with a toy.
  • Avoid petting a dog without first letting them smell you.
  • If you are bitten, immediately tell an adult about it.



Superficial bites (or simple scratch):

  • Clean the area with soap and water.
  • Apply an antibiotic ointment and clean dressing.
  • Watch for signs of infection (redness, swelling, pain) and immediately consult a doctor if one of these signs oppear.
  • Make sure the child has had a tetanus shot.
  • Follow up on the dog’s behavior and vaccines.


More serious bites (deeper than a simple scratch or any wound located on the face, ears, fingers and hands):

  • Clean the wound with soap and water.
  • Apply pressure on the wound in case of bleeding.
  • Take the child to a doctor.
  • Take the child’s vaccination booklet.
  • Follow up on the dog’s behavior and vaccines and have the dog examined by a vet to determine if it is dangerous.



There are always warning signs before a dog bites.  These signs may be subtle and go unnoticed by most people.  The dog may display tolerant behaviour but could still bite one day to everyone’s surprise.  Several warning signs must be taken seriously:

  1. Look anxious: Head down, flattened ears, tail between his legs.
  2. Need space: Turns around and moves away, looks sad.
  3. Stressed: Licks his nose, scratches himself.
  4. Releases stress: Shakes himself.
  5. Feels threathened: Growls or barks.

You may think your dog likes children to pet him but if you notice any of these signs, your dog is trying to warn you that he is uncomfortable in the situation and that he might bite if he feels it is the only way to protect himself.


Source :  CHU Ste-Justine (cacestchiens.com)