It’s the time of year when people take their dogs out in public more often. Trips to the dog park, a stroll down the beach, or even just a walk around the block can end in a trip to the local Dartmouth emergency vet if things get out of control. It is important for Westport pet owners to stay focused and do everything they can to prevent their dog from getting into a dogfight. Your dog might be well-trained and well-behaved, but that doesn’t mean every dog you come in contact with will have had the same training and background.
Don’t Put Your Dog in a Risky Situation
If you go to the neighborhood dog park and your dog plays with the same dogs every visit, you might feel comfortable and let your dog down. Unfortunately, this can be a recipe for disaster. Never trust that any dog you meet, whether it’s a dog you know or a dog that you don’t know, is well-behaved. Learn how to look for signs of aggression, both in your dog and other dogs. Each dog has its own personality, so it is essential to learn how to read your dog and recognize any signs of stress, agitation, or concern.
When walking your dog, make sure to provide space to other dog walkers or persons on the street. Change your path, if necessary, to avoid confrontation. Always walk your dog on a leash to provide you with the best opportunity for control. Many Southeastern Massachusetts veterinarian clinics will ultimately treat dogs that got loose and got into a fight or hit by a car because their owners were unable to maintain control. You might be tempted to let your dog run leash-free, especially in a leash-free park or beach, but you should keep control at all times.
Your Behavior Matters
Often at our emergency veterinary hospital, we hear an account from the pet owners of what happened when their dog was attacked or participated in a dogfight. Some of the best tips that trainers provide to pet owners are to stay calm and not allow their dog to sense any fears or tensions that they might have about the situation. Your dog will instinctively react to your concerns, whether you are yelling or trying to back away from the other dog. They can sense your feelings and will work to protect you, possibly causing an altercation.
Talk to your dog on a regular basis. This type of training helps your dog to learn how to recognize your voice commands and learn to stay calm when another dog passes. Some Westport pet owners inadvertently increase anxiety in their dog simply by transferring their fears to their pet through vocal communication. Use whatever works for your pet. A single word, or a multi-word command to calm your dog should be used on a regular basis, both at home and outdoors.
Be Alert to Your Surroundings
Many attacks happen not at the dog park or a location away from home, but in the dog’s neighborhood. Random off-leash dogs who have gotten out of their yards or neighborhood “packs” of dogs can cause a scary encounter. While the off-leash dog might seem friendly, things can escalate quickly. Your dog’s reaction is just as important as the other dog’s intent, so work your best to keep your dog calm and try to keep the dogs apart as much as possible to prevent a fight from occurring.
If there are issues in your neighborhood with off-leash dogs on a regular basis, consider carrying some form of defense with you. Many dog walkers carry air horns, pepper spray, and big sticks that can be used to break up a dog bite. Speak with your local Dartmouth emergency vet about things you can do to keep your dog and yourself safe while walking your dog. Each city, county, and state has different laws and regulations about what you can and cannot do to defend yourself, so make sure to look into it before carrying anything with you.
Know What to Do
If a dog fight or other incident occurs, know what to do and where to go. Westport pet owners can bring pets to the emergency veterinary hospital in Dartmouth. Anchor Animal Hospital is a veterinary care clinic for regular check-ups and treatments, but we also operate as a popular Dartmouth emergency vet. Our staff is well-trained to handle veterinary emergencies, and our team of Southeastern Massachusetts veterinarian professionals has all of the equipment, tools, and supplies necessary to take care of simple wound dressings or major surgeries and complete blood panels. Give us a call at 508-996-3731 to schedule an appointment or to learn more about our emergency veterinary services.