We’ve all been living through stressful times. Now, imagine being a family pet that doesn’t really understand what’s going on. Even some of the best-behaved dogs have been known to bite or become aggressive when uncertainty is present.
There are many changes in their environments, and as things begin to open up, more people they don’t know well may be around them. That is why it is so important for you and for others to take steps to make your pets more comfortable and to keep them apart from guests when they are stressed.
How can you identify a stressed dog?
One of the things that you need to look at with any pet you encounter is its body language. A dog can’t tell you outright that it is anxious or scared, but if you notice that it is looking away or that its ears are down, then that is a good sign that it is concerned about what’s happening around it.
There are some other signs of a dog being in distress, becoming concerned, feeling anxious or becoming aggressive. A dog that is panting with its ears down while cowering is showing that it is worried. A dog that flicks its tongue out and licks its muzzle when someone approaches may be trying to say that the other party is invading its space.
If it’s your dog that is showing these signs, take it into another room and consider separating it from your guests until the party or event is over. If this is a dog at another person’s home, let them know that you are concerned that their dog may be overwhelmed. Taking these proactive steps can prevent bites and make your holiday season a little safer.
If your dog or someone else’s dog does attack, separate the dog and the victim as quickly as possible. Put the dog in another room, and make sure to give the victim immediate medical care.
For the most part, these attacks can be prevented. However, if one does happen, then the dog’s owner is likely to be held responsible.