Beware of the Dog

Does your child know how to behave around a pet?

When Your Pooch Bites

What's not to love about your family's dog? It romps around the yard, eats scraps from under the table, and cuddles up with you in front of the TV. But it can also bite the little hand that feeds it. About half of all children are bitten by a dog by the time they turn 18, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. And usually it's by an animal they know: 50 percent of all kids are nipped by a family pet, and another 40 percent are attacked by a friend's or neighbor's pup. A dog doesn't necessarily bite because it's mean or because your child is picking on it. Usually, it's a simple misunderstanding between kid and canine. To protect your child from getting hurt by your pet (or anyone else's, for that matter), you need to understand animal-behavior myths -- and clue your kid in to them too.

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