Do You Know How to Keep Kids and Dogs Safe Together?
Summer is peak season for dog bites and the majority of serious injuries occur to children between ages 5 and 9. 

Most of these injuries can be prevented -- if parents of both kids and dogs take a few simple steps.

As pet parents, we are legally responsible for any injuries our dogs cause. Even the sweetest, friendliest dog can strike our from fear or if she senses a threat. Here's what we can do to reduce the risk that our dog will be a threat. 

- Follow local leash and containment laws. A dog should not be running free -- even in your own yard -- unless you have an Invisible Fence® brand system.
- Every dog should be trained to obey basic commands like 'sit,' 'stay' and 'come'. While it's best to start when the dog is a puppy, no dog is too old to learn obedience skills. 
- All dogs should be spayed or neutered. Studies show that dogs are three times more likely to bite if they are not. 
- If a dog demonstrates any aggressive behaviors, don't wait for a bite to happen. Seek advice from a professional trainer right away. 

Human parents also have a responsibility to teach children how to behave safely around dogs -- whether there are pets in the household or not. Every child should know these basic rules, so they don't accidentally provoke an attack. 

- Never pet a dog without first asking the owner. If the owner says it's okay, let the dog sniff the back of your hand before you try to touch him. 
- Never disturb a dog that is sleeping, eating or caring for puppies. 
- Never grab a dog from behind or around the neck, because he may feel threatened. 
- If a strange dog approaches, stand still and wait. In most cases, the dog will sniff you and go away. Then walk away slowly with your hands at your side. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control, there are more than 4.5 million dog bites every year. Let's all do our part to make sure kids stay safe around dogs this summer.