Does having a pet create risks?

The risks pets bring to your home and family

An animal can add numerous positive elements to your home life; however, they do have risks that you should consider when personally taking on that responsibility. Pets carry the risk of injuring you, other people, or property, therefore, you should take safety measures to lessen the chances of injury or property damage occurring. Some safety measures include:

– Proper training and enforcing said training

– When outdoors or in public areas keep animals on a leash or in a carrying kennel

– Provide a proper fenced in area

– Ensure gates are locked and doors are shut upon entering and existing when animals could be present

– Stay up to date with shots, vaccines, and vet visits to lessen the possible transfer of diseases or infections resulting in greater medical needs

Training Tips

Going along with the first bullet of safety measures, it is important to train your pet. With training comes a lot of patience and a ton of reinforcement. Repeat, repeat, repeat until your pet gets it on their own. Then keep repeating so they don’t lose that skill. Just like a sport, you stop practicing, you are not as good at it as you once were.

– Take your pet to training classes and continue a training program to reinforce the lessons learned

– Do not discipline your animal with physical, violent, or aggressive punishments

– Never allow cats/kittens to play with your bare hands, fingers, or toes as these are not toys

– Maintain consistent responses/behaviors and enforce that all family members or visitors do the same

– Teach pets to not jump on people

Best Practices

In addition to training, there are also some best practices when dealing with a pet. Educate yourself and others on signs/body language that indicate a dog feels threatened and has the potential to injure someone. Recognizing the signs and body language of a scared of an aggressive animal allows you to be able to diffuse the situation before something fatal happens. Nobody wants their pet to run away. Until you are familiar with your pet, keep them on a leash while outside. Ensure fences are maintained and in proper condition to prevent animals from escaping, as well. It can also be beneficial to keep them on a leash while inside to help reinforce training. When it comes to introducing your pet to people, let the pet go to the person. It can be extremely overwhelming for the animal and if someone aggressively goes towards them to say hello, they could be frightened and go into attack mode.

Statistics

With any subject and any pet comes some statistics.

– Approximately 90% of the millions of animal bites each year are from dogs and cats.

– In 2016 there were 4.5 million dog bites in the US, 19% of these bites resulted in injuries.

– 1% of all injury-related emergency department visits in the US are resulting animal bites. These bites accumulate more than $50 million in health care costs each year.

– Cats and dogs are responsible for damaging more than 8 million devices, costing their owners nearly $3 billion dollars.

– Up to 75% of cat bites result in the introduction of bacteria to the injured person.

 

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