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CAMPBELLVILLE, ON, November 07, 2012 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Visiting family and friends is part of the holiday season. Changes in routines, crowded rooms, unattended food and excited children can often lead to miscommunication between the family dog and guests. Doggone Safe offers tips to keep kids and dogs safe over the holidays. Public service announcements for radio are available for live reads or as WAV files for download from www.doggonesafe.com.
Family gatherings at a relative's house are the source of fond memories for many. The relative's dog may not enjoy these events as much as the rest of the family. Noise, confusion and changes in routine are stressful for dogs. Even a normally calm and docile pet may become agitated enough to bite under the extreme circumstances of a boisterous family celebration. Supervision may be lax if each adult thinks that another is watching the children.
Children are the most likely victims of dog bites in this situation. Doggone Safe offers the following tips:
- Put the dog in his crate with a stuffed Kong or favorite chew toy, at least during the most hectic times - guests arriving and leaving as well as dinner preparation and serving.
- Assign one adult to be in charge of the dog, to watch for signs of stress and protect from unwanted attention from children. This adult should have no other responsibilities or duties.
Signs of stress include:
- The dog yawns or licks his chops.
- The dog shows the white part of his eye in a half moon shape.
- If the dog shows any of these signs, then he is worried and wants to be left alone. Put the dog in his crate or in a room way from the guests with a favorite chew toy or stuffed Kong.
- If the dog licks his chops, yawns shows the half moon eye, turns away or gets up and walks away when a child approaches or is petting him, intervene immediately and ensure that the child cannot access the dog.
- Do not allow visiting children to hug the dog. Dogs don't like hugs and kisses. Even if the dog tolerates this under normal circumstances he may not tolerate this from strangers or in a high stress situation with lots of noise and people.
- Other signs that the dog does not welcome attention from children (or adult) guests include the following:
- The dog turns his head away, walks away or tries to hide under furniture.
- The dog freezes and becomes very still, with his mouth closed. He may be staring intensely at the person who is bothering him and may growl. This dog is a few seconds away from a bite.
- The dog growls or raises the fur along his back.
- If you have multiple dogs, consider kenneling them, crating them or keeping them in another room during large gatherings.
- Supervise at all times.
Doggone Safe is a non-profit organization dedicated to dog bite prevention through education and dog bite victim support. Visit us at www.doggonesafe.com.
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