LOCAL NEWS

Teaching Kids How To Safely Approach Unfamiliar Dogs

Mar 4, 2019, 6:01 PM | Updated: 6:21 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Statistics show about a thousand people require emergency care for serious dog-bite injuries every day across the country. Sunday’s tragic incident involving a 4-year-old boy is a reminder that it happens in Utah as well.

There were 1,105 dog bites in Salt Lake County in 2017. In 2018 there were 803.

So far in 2019, there have been 59 dog bites in the county — and those are just the ones reported.

Kiera Packer is with Salt Lake County Animal Services and teaches kids about how to interact with unfamiliar dogs.

“I do see a lot of kids getting bit due to improperly handling or maybe not knowing how to handle a pet,” said Packer.

One of the first things kids should know is the dog should always have a collar, a leash and an owner with them.

“If they don’t have those three things, you probably shouldn’t be approaching them,” Packer said.

Then, ask the owner if you can pet the dog, but have the dog smell your fist first, not your open hand. Packer says that way, the dog doesn’t think you’re offering it a treat.

When it comes time to pet the dog, touch its side rather than its head.

“When I ask to pet the dog, I’m not going to tap him on the head or be over the top of him. That’s really quite scary to dogs,” said Packer, demonstrating the approach. “I’m actually just going to pet him right here on the side. That’s very non-threatening. I’m not over the top of his head. I’m not doing anything where he doesn’t see where my hands are at.”

Animal control officers also said dogs like to guard their territory so teach your kids to stay away from their “space.”

“Teach them not to enter yards that they don’t know, not to bend over fences or put your hand through fences of dogs that you don’t know,” said Packer.

She also says if you’re approached by a dog, don’t run because it will likely chase you. Instead, tell your kids to stand their ground and call for help loudly so a grownup can hear.

These lessons won’t stop every dog bite, but they could potentially save your child from becoming a victim of serious injury.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

(KSL TV)...
Casey Scott, KSL TV

Giving away gas cards with Casey Scott and the Grinch

It's Wednesday, which means Casey Scott was giving away free gas cards. And today, he had a little help from a special guest.
13 hours ago
...
Andrew Adams

Deputies: Driver arrested in Utah County had blood alcohol level 8 times legal limit

A 24-year-old woman was arrested Tuesday morning on suspicion of DUI after deputies said she drove erratically on a road near the sheriff’s office, ultimately damaging her car to the point where it was no longer operable. 
13 hours ago
Utah's Hogle Zoo. (KSL TV)...
Madison Swenson

Hogle Zoo offering Wild Weekdays discount in December

Utah's Hogle Zoo is offering guests $5 general admission every weekday for the month of December.
13 hours ago
(Courtesy: Baron Edwards)...
Lauren Steinbrecher

Witness recounts ‘miraculous’ Moab rescue after BASE jumper crashes into cliff

Incredible video shows the terrifying moments a BASE jumper crashed into a cliff in Moab, then hung in the air high above the ground, his parachute stuck in the cliffside.
13 hours ago
(John Wilson/KSL TV)...
Josh Ellis

SB I-15 closed in Layton following police chase, shooting

State troopers have closed southbound Interstate 15 at Hill Field Road due to a police incident.
13 hours ago
Follow @KSL_AlexCabrero...
Alex Cabrero

SportClips in Sugar House reopens after massive apartment fire

SportClips in Sugar House reopened for business Tuesday, 33 days after they were forced to close due to a massive fire that broke out at an under-construction apartment complex.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 reasons you may want to consider apartment life over owning a home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Take this quiz before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t let a ransomware attack get you down | Protect your workplace today with cyber insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Teaching Kids How To Safely Approach Unfamiliar Dogs