With the Fourth of July here and summer being busier than usual for you, you’ve noticed that you’re around a lot of new animals. Your friends and family members, neighbors and others around you all seem to have dogs. While you love animals, you’ve also noticed that many of them aren’t doing well with the fireworks people shoot off throughout June and July or the groups of people that they aren’t familiar with.

On top of that, it’s been very hot, so you have seen pets that were aggressive or snappy at people because of not feeling well. While you’re sympathetic to the fact that these animals are learning and that owners may not be prepared for certain unpredictable situations, you still want to make sure that you can keep your children safe.

How can you keep your children safe against dog bites?

It’s a good idea to talk to your children about dogs and the signs that they may not be feeling well or do not want to be approached. For example, a dog that has its ears pressed back may be frightened or angry. When a dog shows its teeth, that’s a warning to back up or to stop doing whatever it is that you’re doing to it.

You should also talk to them about loud noises and surprises. Even the calmest family pet may become scared when hearing fireworks or when someone surprises them, which could lead to bites. Make sure your children know to allow the pets to approach them and not to reach out for them.

In most cases, people’s dogs are friendly and will enjoy being around you, but there are some that are better on their own or with their owners. Some dogs are shy, fearful or territorial. Before you go to a friend’s home or meet a new dog, ask the owner to restrain it with a leash or behind a gate. This will give you an opportunity to meet the dog in an environment where it doesn’t have the ability to attack and is meeting you with its owner present.

People can take steps to avoid bites, but bites will still happen. If you are bitten by a dog and you find the owner, they should know that they will be held liable for the injuries you’ve suffered in most cases. It is their responsibility to keep their dog controlled at all times.