strange dogDinner Conversation Safety Topic. Here’s a question parents should ask their children at the dinner table: “Do you know how to approach a strange dog or cat? Suppose you’re visiting a friend, and their dog or a cat is in the room. What should you do?”
Family pets may be very tolerant of human attention and affection, but a dog or cat may feel threatened by either one from someone new.
To ensure your children’s safety, talk about the following:
1. Speak softly to get the animal’s attention and move very slowly. Sudden moves can frighten a dog or cat, and a panicked animal may bite or scratch.
2. Move slowly to the side of a dog or cat. Both dogs and cats express aggression by staring directly face to face. When you face an animal head-on, the animal thinks you’re aggressive and challenge his dominance.
3. When you’re close, allow the dog or cat to make the final move to be closer to you. Put out your hand, palm down, and allow her to sniff.
4. If the dog or cat doesn’t approach you, observe his body language. If the animal seems friendly but still hesitates, she may be shy. Slowly approach. However, do not approach a dog that growls or bares its teeth or a cat that hisses. Stay calm.
5. Gently pet the dog or cat, avoiding the top of the head.
Any animal, even a normally gentle cat or a well-trained dog may bite if he feels threatened. Instruct your children to never approach a dog or cat if they have any doubt about the animal’s intentions.
Make it clear to your children that they should never approach an animal that is unattended. That sweet looking dog or lonely looking cat may be a stray, and may pose a danger.
If you or your child encounter an animal without tags, call animal control to help find a safe place for the dog or cat.
Of course, no animal is a stranger to us at Town N Country! If you have a pet that we haven’t met yet, bring them in and let us get acquainted! We look forward to making friends very soon!