RSPCA has teamed up with St John Ambulance to help children, adults and four-legged friends enjoy a carefree, happy summer in parks and public spaces.
The charities have issued practical steps to help you stay safe around dogs and are also offering first aid advice in case of an incident involving a dog bite.
There are an estimated 13 million dogs in the UK and whilst the most serious and fatal attacks happen in the home, NHS data shows dog bites (also referred to as ‘strikes’ when the injury differs from a bite) have risen by 17% from 7,424 in 2020/21 to 8,655 in 2021/22.
Attacks on children aged 0-4 increased from 565 in 2020/21 to 614 in 2021/22 and there was also an increase in attacks on 10-14-year-olds from 306 to 378.
RSPCA’s Dr Samantha Gaines said: “Many of us can recognise some of the clear signs that a dog gives to indicate that they’re frightened or unhappy, such as showing their teeth or growling. But there are more subtle signals that our dogs give us to tell us that they’re feeling uncomfortable and it’s really important that parents and children understand these and react accordingly.”