How to Be Safe Around Dogs

This article contains safety tips on what to do and what not to do around dogs.

What You Should Do

Before petting someone else’s dog (or cat), ask the owner for permission. After getting permission to pet a dog, always let the dog sniff the back of your hand first.

When a dog approaches you, stand still and quiet. Keep your hands at your sides.

If you feel threatened, remain calm, face the dog, do not look directly into the dog’s eyes, then back slowly out of the area.

What You Should Not Do

Don’t pet or approach a dog (or a cat) while they are sleeping, eating or playing with one of their toys. They can be startled or upset.

Don’t pull a toy, stick or any item from a dog’s mouth. Also, do not play tug-of-war as this may teach them to bite, jump or become aggressive.

Don’t run from a dog that is chasing you! Try to stand still or crouch down and cover your face with your arms. A dog’s natural instinct is to chase and catch someone who is running away.

Don’t tease or chase dogs or cats and avoid petting or picking up pets that you don’t know.

Don’t approach a dog or any other animal that is injured.

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