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Teaching caution around strange pets

Children are bitten by dogs every year because they fail to recognize that not all pets are as nice and friendly as their own dog, or Grandma's cat. When your child approaches strange dogs or other animals without abandon, it is a recipe for disaster, and the victim will inevitably be your child.

When your child sees a dog he wants to run up and pet, don't let him go. First ask the child questions about the dog that would distract him. For example, what color is the dog? What kind of dog is it?

Then teach him he must never go up to a dog without asking the owner for permission first. Would he like it if someone he didn't know went up and touched his favorite toy truck without permission? Asking for permission to come near a pet is the same thing.

You should also teach him that just because a dog seems friendly or looks friendly, that it might not be friendly at all. Dogs can wag their tail one second, and attack the next.

And never approach a dog if the owner isn't around. Don't assume that just because the dog is tied up near the entrance to the video store that he must be friendly.

 



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