A scary encounter with a dog can scar your child both physically and emotionally. Despite the unfortunate circumstances, you may want to help your child feel comfortable around dogs again.
It is not unlikely for your child to feel fearful and anxious around canines after experiencing a bite. As a parent, you might be able to influence your child’s reaction when you provide education and encouragement.
Seek trauma therapy
Despite your best efforts, you may simply lack the resources to help your child work through trauma. One option to consider is hiring a professional trauma therapist. There are many unique and engaging methods that child therapists use to help their patients process trauma and learn how to respond to triggers.
Depending on the severity of the incident, your child may need ongoing support throughout much of the recovery process. According to Web MD, following your child’s dog bite, you can consult your pediatrician for a list of recommendations for trustworthy therapists.
Teach animal safety
A majority of dogs are friendly and playful, especially if people understand how to behave around them. You can teach your child how to stay safe around canines. Some of the things you can talk about include the following:
- Always ask before you pet a dog
- Use caution around stray dogs
- Do not bother a dog during mealtime
- Let a dog smell your hand before petting
Teach your child how to read and understand a dog’s body language. Your diligence in providing education may help your child gradually regain the confidence to interact with dogs again.