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Dog bite dangers: The summer months

Every summer, there is an increased risk of dog bites happening. Dog bites are more likely to occur when there are more people participating in activities with pets or outside in general. For instance, when school lets out, there are potentially thousands more children playing outside or at their homes or friends' homes.

There is always a risk of a dog bite when you put children and dogs together, even if the dog is a pet. Remember, even the best pet can become snippy if it is ill, aggravated or feels threatened.

What should you look out for when you visit a new dog?

If you're a guest in another person's home, learn to read the signs that show how a dog feels. You may think a wagging tail means it's happy to see you, and that's normally correct. However, it can also mean the dog is excited, which is a state of mind more likely to lead to aggression. If a dog becomes over excited, it's more likely to bite or nip. Even if it's playful to begin with, someone could get bitten. Even minor punctures, like those from puppies and their puppy teeth, could become infected and lead to injury.

Another thing to keep in mind is that, if you'r a stranger, the dog doesn't know you and you don't know its personality. You never want to reach out to greet a new pet. You shouldn't try to pick it up or to pet it until it has a chance to approach you on its own. If the dog pulls away or tucks its tail, it's better to leave it alone and keep your distance.

One more thing to keep in mind is that a new dog should never be left alone with children. If the dog becomes too excited, agitated or fearful, it could give signs that it wants to be left alone. If children don't recognize these signs, they may continue to bother the animal, provoking it to bite.

Keep in mind that a dog bite is extremely serious and can result in the dog being quarantined or put down, if this isn't the first time it has attacked. The owner can be held responsible for the pet's actions and could face fines as well as having to pay for any expenses related to a child's injuries from the attack. It's best to keep an adult near children and animals at all times.

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