Responsible Pet Ownership Includes Safety: Practical Steps to Help Prevent Dog Bites

A great and playful pet is fun to have around. More than just a companion, pets create a social dynamic with their owner that positively influences the well-being of both. A pet’s health is closely linked to its mental, physical and social competencies so it is important they are provided with the adequate amount of nourishment, shelter, grooming, exercise, and medical care.

In addition to medical and nutritional attention, proper obedience and interaction trainingare an important part of pet ownership. As responsible pet owners, we must remember that we have the obligation to keep our pets from harm’s way. Lack of social training for dogs and individuals often becomes a recipe for unfortunate encounters, such as dog bites, that could equally endanger and traumatize the person and the pet.

Through the years, experts have been encouraging pet parents to visit their veterinarian for regular rabies vaccination. In local villages and barangays, free rabies vaccination services are made available during pet celebrations to promote rabies prevention among pet owners. In recent findings, the Department of Health (DOH) reported that 47 percent of rabies cases were children below 15 years old. Although 100 percent fatal, it is largely preventable if precautionary measures are observed. In 2020, DOH aims the Philippines to be rabies-free.

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) believes that propersocial exercises for dogs, individuals and pedestrians are sustainable solutions to prevent this public health issue. Here are some practical tips to prevent dog bites.


When a puppy is introduced to new people, places and locations, should begin between 3 and 14 weeks of age. AVMA recommends that a plan be developed for the different environments that will be a part of your new dog’s life. Once your puppy comes home, if you live in a city, slowly introduce your dog to situations with people and traffic. You can also carefully expose your pet to people wearing hats, carrying umbrellas, or holding other everyday objects that could be perceived as a threat. Don’t forget: make sure your dog is fully vaccinated before he or she is exposed to areas with a high likelihood of unvaccinated dogs. If you have adopted an older dog and are unsure of his or her socialization history, take time to bond with your pet and get to learn their temperament before introducing your dog to a whole new array of experiences.

Learn the Signs A dog can display physical indications that they are upset or about to bite. Some of the obvious actions include barking or growling, but there are also some unexpected signs. If a dog pricks up or flattens his or her ears, tenses up or stares at a person, or even wags their tail or rolls over to expose their belly, the dog may be fearful or stressed.

Teach Your Children How to Interact with Dogs

It is also important to teach your children how to approach and pet a dog. This includes instructing your child to always ask the owner before petting an animal, even if they know the dog, and to pet gently and avoid yelling or sudden movements. Remember to avoid touching a dog if it is sleeping or eating, and let the dog be alone in its crate or bed – we all appreciate having some alone time!

Whether you just brought a puppy home or your child loves to say “hi” to dogs in the neighborhood, we can all play a role in preventing dog bites.

JL Santiago Aquino

A millennial lifestyle blogger from Caloocan City who adores trying new things. ✨ Email: Follow @JayL_Aquino on Instagram, Twitter, TikTok & Facebook.

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