One of the risks that we have as pet groomers is being bitten by a pet. Of course, this risk isn’t exclusive to our industry– anyone who interacts with animals should know the risks and signs of a pet bite. Some pets are naturally great around us humans, while others are a bit more skittish and fearful. It’s important to realize that every pet has a unique personality and not to assume that all dogs – as adorable as they may be! – want to receive pats and cuddles. Below are some helpful tips to keep in mind and what you need to know about pet bites. As long as you’re informed and practice common sense, there’s no reason to fear our furry friends!
Preventing Dog Bites
You don’t have to avoid dogs completely to prevent dog bites. In fact, many dogs will give you clear signs that they don’t want to be bothered– and these signs should never be ignored. Being able to understand your pet’s body language is essential– not only for your safety, but for those who may want to pet your dog. Below are all signs that a dog may bite:
- Excessive yawning, licking lips, or avoiding eye contact.
- Growling, snapping, or showing their teeth.
- Fur is standing up (hackles are showing).
- The whites of their eyes are showing.
- Body becomes rigid and tense.
Here at Puff & Fluff, we know the signs and we understand that not all pets enjoy being groomed. We ask that pet parents let us know if their furry friends are particularly skittish– in that case, we may use a muzzle to safely groom your pet.
In addition to knowing the warning signs, you should be aware of your own actions as well. If you’re approaching an unfamiliar dog, you shouldn’t reach down to immediately pet his or her head. Again, don’t assume all dogs like being pet. Even the friendliest dogs can snap if they feel their space isn’t being respected.
Allow any new dog to sniff you first and then bend down to their level and let them sniff your hands. Don’t make any sudden movements– always be calm, gentle, and encouraging.
If an unfamiliar dog is running towards you in an aggressive manner, you shouldn’t panic. Instead, stand with the side of your body facing the dog. Facing a dog directly can appear aggressive to the dog. If a dog is powerful enough to knock you down, curl into a ball with your head tucked in and place your hands over your ears and neck.
Caring for Wounds
No matter what the situation is, if you get bitten by a dog, you need to address the bite immediately. Make sure to properly clean the wound with soap and water before applying antibiotic cream. Place a clean bandage over it and monitor it to prevent infection. Of course, if you have a deeper wound, you’ll want to seek medical attention.
Once again, it’s so important to remember that dogs are similar to humans– they can become agitated and snap, sometimes unexpectedly! Prevention is key so please share these tips with other pet parents. How do you prevent pet bites? Let us know in the comments below!