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Dog Bites – Dog Preparedness for the Holidays – Parrish Law Firm

December 8, 2014 by The Parrish Law Firm

The holiday season is a busy time and is especially stressful for many dogs.

Parrish Law Firm, PLLC cares about your family and your pets and would like to offer a few tips on keeping everyone safe this holiday season – especially if your dog is not well socialized.

Child Visitors

When a dog lives in a home that has no children and is not used to the excitement that children can bring into a household, this can be a time where your dog becomes stressed. Children generally will raise the energy level in a home, causing the dog to worry or and become anxious. Following are some suggestions that can help if your dog does not cope well with being in the presence of children.

  • Always supervise children (especially very young children) and the dogs when they are together so that you can monitor the situation. Most dog bites to children occur when they are alone together.
  • With a very young child, the dog’s owner must be vigilant and monitor the young child’s interaction with the dog. Parents should take this opportunity teach children of all ages to treat dogs with respect and gentleness.
  • Never invite a child to feed the dog by hand because this can teach the dog that it is alright to take food from a child. Because children are small, the dog may view them as an equal and thus may try to dominate the situation.

Dog Security

Dogs need to have their own “space,” a place where they can feel secure and calm. If your dog doesn’t already have a place of their own, it is strongly suggested to create one.

  • Crating provides a natural safe haven for your dog. Keep the crate in a quiet area and direct your dog to go there when you need to set boundaries. This will certainly make your dog feel secure.
  • If your dog starts barking or nipping at your guests, remove your dog from the area and keep your dog in their safe place until guests have gone.
  • Keep the dogs out of busy rooms where they can get underfoot and become defensive.
  • If traveling during the holidays, taking their crate with you and keeping familiar bedding inside of it will help your dog feel more relaxed.

Front Door Training

When visitors arrive at the front door, it is an exciting time for many dogs. An excited dog can be a risk to your visitors as there is a chance that your dog could knock someone down or become so excited that they will nip or bite.

  • Exercise your dog prior to your guests arriving, to the point of your dog becoming tired and relaxed.
  • As a general rule, it isn’t wise to let your dog to greet unfamiliar guests at the door because commotion and unusual circumstances will cause stress for dogs.
  • Putting your dog on a leash as your guests arrive will help you to maintain better control.
  • Teaching your dog to sit and stay on command is a huge help. When your doorbell rings, ask your dog to sit-stay and do not open the door until your dog calms down.
  • If your dog gets overly excited with arriving visitors, remove them from the situation ahead of time. Place your dog in their crate in a quiet room, and then you can decide to let your dog join the party later.

You can eliminate potentially devastating situations by simply thinking and planning ahead. You dog is a part of your family and it is your responsibility to make sure both your guests and your dog are safe from potentially dangerous situations.

Parrish Law Firm, PLLC Dog Bite Attorney, located in Manassas and Fairfax works with Northern Virginia citizens who have suffered from Dog Bites and are looking for fair compensation for their suffering. Contact us today for a free case consultation, or call us at 703-906-4229.

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A representative of the Parrish Law Firm, PLLC researched and wrote this article with Mr. Parrish’s consent. If you have any questions regarding the legal implications of what you have just read, please send us your question by clicking here so we can have our attorney review it.

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