As you grow up with your own pet, you bond with them and get to know them very well. But, it is important to remember that strange pets like your friends’ or neighbors’ pets are not always like your own pets and can cause serious harm. It’s always a good idea to keep your distance from strange pets. From afar we can learn to read a pet’s body language to know how they may feel. And more importantly, it allows you to seek out the owner to ask for permission before approaching their pet.
Pet’s can smell you from a distance. So, it is not essential to push your hand out for it to smell, as this can scare them. Pets that are comfortable will approach you and show friendly, relaxed behavior. You can then gently stroke them on the chest or shoulders in the direction that the fur grows.
Important tips on how to be careful around a strange pet:
- Never walk up to a strange pet
- Do not pet a strange pet without permission from the owner
- Do not go near a pet that is tied up
- Do not put your hand through a fence or climb over a fence to pet a dog or cat
- Do not try to pick up a strange pet
- Act calm and move slowly around a strange pet
- Never look a strange pet directly in their eyes
- Never run toward or away from a strange pet
If a strange dog does approach you and the owner is not around, stand still, look at the ground, keep your hands by your side, and wait until the dog loses interest in you. Do not run from the dog. If a dog does attack, try to put something between yourself and the dog or give them your jacket or backpack. If you are knocked to the ground by a dog, curl into a ball and put your hands over your ears and stay still. Wait until the dog loses interest and walks away.
If you do happen to get bitten by a dog, it is important that you know what to do:
- Tell a grown-up immediately
- Wash the wound with soap and warm water right away
- Contact your doctor for further directions
- Report the attack to the animal control