Hundreds of thousands of people are seriously injured each year as a result of dog bites, tens of thousands will require reconstructive surgery and, on average, two people per month die as a result of a pet mauling them.
Those are scary figures, and what makes them worse is that many of those incidents could have been easily prevented.
Unfortunately, many dog owners believe that their pet could not act in such a way, but one must remember that dogs are animals, they do have instincts, and they can become upset without warning. A perfectly friendly and loving pet can become angered when injured, when protecting its pack (your family), when eating, or when stressed. Any of these things can be occurring without your knowledge and the attack can occur seemingly without any red flags.
If you are traveling with your pet this holiday season, be aware that this can place a lot of stress on the animal. So, you should be very careful on how you handle the dog to ensure an accident does not result in serious heartache, possible tragedy, and time in the courtroom.
Children are the most at risk from dog attacks because they are less able to defend themselves and they tend to approach dogs more frequently than adults, often without invitation. Adult males are more likely than women to be attacked, likely because they are seen as a bigger threat to the animal or his family.
Realizing this can help you avoid potentially dangerous settings when letting your dog out of the vehicle on stops along the way. Always keep your dog on a leash when in an unfamiliar or open area and ask that people do not approach or pet the animal.
Similarly, if you are traveling and see a dog along the way, do not approach without asking first, offer a hand for the dog to sniff before petting, and never bother an animal that is eating or sleeping.