The Dog Safety Code encourages everyone to be alert, aware and – most importantly – safe around dogs.
We are a nation of dog lovers and dogs are often part of the family, so it is vital that both parents and children are equipped with the knowledge they need to enjoy spending time with dogs safely.
Sometimes dog bites can happen because of certain circumstances or because we miss important signals from dogs. Being dog safe and following the Dog Safety Code can help to prevent that from happening.
PRACTICAL TIPS FOR CHILD SAFETY AROUND DOGS
It is important to be equipped with the knowledge and skills to enjoy spending time with dogs safely. Close supervision of children and dogs is key.
- Close supervision is the most important thing to keep children safe.
- Watch, listen and remain close when your child and dog are together. Never leave them alone together
- If either your dog or child seems unhappy, positively and calmly separate them. You can throw your dog a treat or toy, or lead your child away.
- Understand your dog’s body language so you can spot signs they feel uncomfortable or stressed.
- When you know you’ll be distracted during busier times, use safety gates to keep children and dogs separate or, take your child or dog with you.
Trigger times – teach your child to leave your dog alone when they are:
- Sleeping – no-one likes to be woken up suddenly.
- Eating or having a treat – they might think you’re going to take their food.
- Have a toy or something else they really like – they might not want to share
For more practical tips go to the following webpages:
Child Accident Prevention Trust’s dog safety webpage: Child Accident Prevention Trust - Dogs and Children
RSPCA: Keeping children safe around dogs: Keeping Children safe around Dogs
Blue Cross: Be safe with dogs: Be Safe with Dogs
PDSA: Children and dogs: Children and Dogs
Dogs Trust: Dogs and Children living safely together: Dogs and Children living safely together