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The Right Way to Greet an Unfamiliar Dog

approaching dogs in a safe wayDogs are the most popular pet in American households today. There are millions of home with at least one dog in residence, and many that have multiple canines running about. You may even count yourself among the millions of dog owners in the country.

No matter how much you love all things covered in fur, you may not be approaching unfamiliar dogs the right way. If you aren’t, you run a very real risk of being bitten. Now that the weather is warming up, you are bound to see more dogs out for walks than you’ve seen in the previous few months. When you see one of these dogs that you just can’t resist, here are some tips for approaching it in a safe way.

1. Ask the Owner’s Permission

One of the questions that makes dog owner’s cringe is, “Does it bite?” Of course it does. It’s a dog and any dog can bite. The second most cringe-worthy question: “Is your dog friendly?” Get on an owner’s good side right away by simply asking if it is okay if you pet their dog.

2.  Hold Out Your Knuckles

Once you get the go-ahead from the owner, put your hand out to the dog and let it sniff. Put your hand out palm down with your fingers curled under. This gives the dog your knuckles to smell and protects your fingers.

3. Wait for the Dog’s Permission

After the dog has had a chance to smell you, it will tell you if it wants to be petted. Of course it isn’t going to jump up and down, do a dance and yell, “Pet me!” What it will do is move forward, nudge your hand with its head, or perk its ears. If you see these signs, you are okay to go in for the pet.

4. Pet the Right Spot

Don’t pet an unfamiliar dog on or near the ears, on the face or on the stomach. Instead, pet the side of its body. If it nudges your hand with its head, you are probably safe to pet the top of its furry noggin as well. Once you get the go ahead from the dog, and you will know when you do, pet to your abandon.

It may be in your nature to greet every dog you see, but it may not be in your best interest. Follow the tips above to keep yourself safe. If you do experience a dog bite in North Carolina, call our team of personal injury attorneys. We will provide you with a free case evaluation and advise you of your options under current law. Call now or browse our website for more information about our firm.

Posted In: Dog and Animal Attacks
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