This week (May 21st to May 28th) is Dog Bite Prevention Week. This week was founded by the American Veterinary Medical Association. This week is dedicated to preventing dog bites. Last year, we wrote a blog on some dog bite prevention tips. But what's also important is knowing what the signs of a dog bite are. No matter how sweet or gentle your dog is, you'll always want to be aware of the signs that they're about to bite. It also helps to know the signs so that you can be prepared around other dogs.
Many of the signs might be surprising to you since they seem like normal dog behaviors.
Yawning, licking lips, avoid your eyes
You might see your dog yawn or lick their lips often, but if these actions happen repeatedly or all at the same time, this might be a sign that your dog is anxious or uncomfortable. Whatever situation your dog might be in, it's best to get them out of it or let them be alone for a bit.
While a wagging tail usually means that your pup is happy, it doesn't always mean this. It could also mean that your dog is anxious. You might be able to tell the difference by body language. If your dog's body is still and they're tail is rigidly upright, this might mean that they're uncomfortable.
Growling, showing teeth
This is a pretty obvious sign that your dog might snap. A low growl suggests they're uncomfortable, especially if they're also showing their teeth. This might mean that they're going to snap.
Just like humans, dogs can also get stiff or rigid when they're uptight. They might have their ears perked and be standing in a wide, square stance. It might even seem as if they're frozen in place. Rigid fur is also a sign that they're unhappy, which isn't apparent in all dogs.
Visible whites of eyes
Normally, you should be able to see the whites of your dog's eyes or if you do, only a sliver. However, if they feel threatened, they might lock their eyes on a specific target and not move their eyes, causing the whites of their eyes to show. It also looks like their eyes are widened when they do this.
Being aware of all of these signs can help you know when your dog is uncomfortable. Getting your dog out of uncomfortable situations will not only help you and those around you, but it'll help your dog too.