Regardless of whether you’ve been bitten by an animal or not, chances are you’ve been threatened by one at some point. Perhaps it was a dog who seemed friendly but then suddenly snarled at you or maybe it was a cat who seemed to enjoy being stroked but then decided to attack out of nowhere.
No matter the circumstances, being bitten (or coming close to it) can leave both you and the animal feeling shaken or annoyed, and it can even produce lingering negative emotions. That’s why the team at Carriage Hills Animal Hospital wants to discuss the importance of preventing pet bites and what you can do to protect both your companion and other people.
Preventing Pet Bites
Remember, no matter how sweet or loving an animal may seem, they still have the potential to bite if they feel scared or threatened. When it comes to preventing pet bites, being observant and having an understanding of body language are your biggest assets! Spaying or neutering your pet can also curb aggression and other undesirable behaviors that can lead to biting.
Cats don’t like to be cornered, and they can reach the end of their tolerance rather abruptly. They tend to bite humans when we’ve failed to correctly interpret their body language, so be aware of the following signs that your cat has had enough:
- Purring has stopped
- Tail is lashing or thumping
- Skin is twitching
- Meowing or growling
- Flattened ears
- Looking back at your hand
Training goes a long way when it comes to preventing cat bites. Don’t allow your kitten to swat at your wiggling fingers, as this can set the stage for regular, painful attacks once they’re full grown. Older cats who have developed this habit can be trained out of it with consistency – give us a call for more details.
If your cat is biting at what seems to be inappropriate times, please bring them in to see us. Their behavior may be due to an underlying medical issue.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, 800,000 Americans seek medical attention for dog bites each year, and the vast majority are children and seniors. The following tips can help you and your family stay safe around dogs:
- Always ask permission from the owner before approaching a dog. Never approach an unfamiliar dog.
- Before petting, offer an extended hand for the dog to sniff.
- Respect a dog’s boundaries. If they walk away, turn their back, yawn repeatedly, snarl, growl, or bark, they should not be touched.
- Never approach a dog who’s eating, sleeping, chewing on a toy, or caring for their young.
- Make sure your own dog has a good grasp on basic obedience commands.
- Tell children to let an adult know if they spot an unfamiliar dog roaming around the neighborhood.
- Young children should never be left alone with a dog, no matter how calm or friendly the pet may seem (this can’t be stressed enough!). Both animals and kids are unpredictable, so it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
If you have additional questions or concerns about preventing pet bites, please don’t hesitate to contact the team at Carriage Hills Animal Hospital. We’re always here for you and your pet!