Responsible dog ownership prevents injuries and saves lives

Most dogs are friendly, loving creatures. But all dogs have the potential to bite a person. The Canadian Veterinarian Journal reports that on average, one to two human deaths a year can be attributed to dog attacks. In Ontario alone in 2011-2012, there were over 13,000 emergency room visits related to dog bites.

If you are considering dog ownership, do your research. If you plan on adopting a dog, ask about its history and why it was put up for adoption. Find out what the by-laws and possible restrictions are for pets in your area.

Being a responsible dog owner means taking steps to train and socialize your animal. Look into obedience training and opportunities to socialize your pet when it’s a puppy. Neutering your male dog may decrease his tendency to be aggressive. Always treat your dog kindly and never put him in a position where he feels threatened or teased.

A sick or injured dog is more likely to bite. Be responsible and take your pet for regular veterinary visits and vaccinations.

If your dog exhibits aggressive behaviours, seek our advice. Biting and attacking behaviours, especially unprovoked, are not acceptable or safe and can be an indication of pain or illness.

Walking and exercising your dog keeps him/her active and provides mental stimulation. Use a leash to keep control of your dog and consider a muzzle before heading out for a walk if you are unsure of how he/she will react to strangers. We carry comfortable basket muzzles that allow your pet to pant and stay cool.

Never leave babies or young children alone with a dog. Teach children not to play-fight with, tease, yell at or chase dogs or other animals. Even very friendly dogs may bite if angry, afraid or hurt.