What are Dog Bites?
Dogs of all breeds, size and age bite. They often get into fights with other dogs when they are allowed to run loose and are not trained properly. While some dogs do have a more aggressive temperament than others, biting is essentially the canine’s way of showing dominance.
Many pet owners choose to wait until something serious happens before they actually act on it. However, the problem can be corrected with early socialization and effective communication.
What Causes Dog Bites?
Young puppies and new dogs like to bite during play or when teething. If your puppy is under six months, it is your duty to inhibit biting. A puppy learns to inhibit his bite from his mother or other members of the litter. When he is taken away from the litter, he may or may not have risen to the leader of the pack, and as a result, uses biting to establish his ranking in a new environment.
Help for Dog Bites
Socializing your puppy early is extremely important to prevent biting, aggression, fearfulness and other inappropriate behaviors.
Exposing your puppy to new experiences, places, animals and sounds and taking him to obedience school will help to correct biting. Your dog needs to learn to obey commands, respect and trust you and most of all, know that you are now the leader of pack.
Pet owners also have to be responsible and tend to overlook certain things which may cause their dog to bite. Keep your dog on a leash when you are outside, do not leave small children unsupervised, play aggressive games or expose them to dogs that you are unsure of.
Often, pet owners may decide to get a new playmate for their dog. Be sure to research the breed that you intend on getting – they would need to be compatible with each other, thereby preventing unnecessary aggressive behavior.
If your dog does get into a fight with another dog, consult your vet immediately, as puncture wounds can easily become infected, often resulting in an abscess. All dogs should be vaccinated against rabies for their protection. Surface or scrape wounds that are mild should be inspected carefully, cleaned with water, covered with a clean cloth and then a sterile dressing applied. Refrain from using antiseptic disinfectants which may sting and cause pain.
Natural remedies can also act as a gentler alternative to harsh antiseptic solutions when cleaning your pet’s bites, scrapes and wounds. Herbal remedies are safe and effective to use and also benefits skin health.
Carefully selected ingredients such as Hamamelis virginianum (Witch hazel), Calendula officinalis (Marigold), Melissa officinalis (lemon balm) and Urtica urens contain natural antiseptic, cleansing and soothing properties that soothes and calms wounds, and also promotes healing of the skin.
More Information on Dog Bites
Tips to Prevent Dog Bites
There are several ways for pet owners to prevent biting in dogs from occurring and these include:
- Socialize your dog from an early age to prevent fearful or aggressive behavior which often results in biting. Expose puppies to new places, people and things
- Teach your puppy to trust and respect you – he has to know who the boss is!
- Take your dog to obedience school to overcome play biting, learn the appropriate commands such as "sit, down, heel, stay or come" and establish that you are the leader of the pack
- Ensure that your dog is always on a leash when out in public spaces
- Never slap, hit or kick your dog as a means of punishment
- Be consistent – you cannot allow your dog to bite certain times like when you are playing a game of tug-of war and then not on want him to bite on other occasions
- Avoid exposing your dog to situations where he may be teased or threatened in any way
- Never leave small children unsupervised with a dog
- Do interfere with a dog if he is eating or drinking
- Update your dog’s vaccinations and make sure that he is vaccinated against rabies