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Preventing dog bite injuries during the holiday season

On Behalf of | Nov 30, 2023 | Dog Bites

The holidays bring plenty of joy and excitement, but this time of year also sees an increase in the number of dog bites. This rise in dog bite incidents reflects heightened activity and elevated stress levels in both humans and dogs during the holiday season.

Dog bites can result in serious harm and health complications. The American Veterinary Medical Association reports that around 20% of the 4.5 million dog bites annually in the United States require medical attention. Planning to prevent dog bites can ensure everyone a safer and more enjoyable holiday season.

Understanding the cause of bites

Dog bite incidents often involve relatives, neighbors or friends of the owner. Familiarity can lead to a lack of caution, resulting in unexpected bites. Children are particularly at risk during holidays as their excitement can elevate a dog’s stress levels, leading to nipping or aggressive behavior.

Taking preventative measures

If you own a dog, you are responsible for watching your pet and avoiding harm during holiday gatherings. Use a crate or leash to keep your pet safe, especially when hosting guests or traveling. This simple precaution can be effective in preventing aggressive incidents.

Recognizing and managing stress

Dogs, like humans, can experience distress due to environmental changes. Recognize signs of stress such as lip licking, panting and stiff posture. You should provide a safe space for your dog to retreat from holiday activities. Ensuring your dog has a quiet, relaxing area can reduce stress-induced aggression.

Maintaining routines and well-being

Try to maintain your dog’s routine as much as possible during the holidays. Disruptions can increase their stress levels. Pay attention to your dog’s emotional well-being and provide them with regular breaks from socializing. If you have multiple dogs, monitor their interactions, as they may exhibit increased tension towards one another during holidays.

Dogs experience stress when faced with changes in routines, environments and the presence of unfamiliar people. While most pets are affectionate, these unfamiliar conditions can trigger unexpected behavior, including aggression and biting.