A mom writes in asking for advice about how to deal with her mom and her mom’s dog. She says that her mom’s dog recently bit her four-year-old son on the face. He needed to have stitches. This dog has been aggressive before, but her parents insist on keeping the dog and “reintroducing” him to this mom’s son, who is now terrified of the pet. Would this mom be wrong to cut ties until a change is made? What should she do to confront this situation?
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A member of the community asks:
“My mom’s dog bit my son: Am I wrong for thinking they should do something about it?
Need some advice. We were at my mom’s house yesterday and their dog bit my four-year-old in the face. He had to have stitches in two places. The thing is, this isn’t this dog’s first time being aggressive. But we go to their house, on average, 2-3 times a week and he’s nothing but loving to people he knows.
Before assumptions are made, I make my children respect animals. My issue is, my family is choosing to keep the dog and expects me to allow them to re-introduce this dog to my son despite my son saying he never wanted to see the dog again because he was terrified. Am I wrong for wanting them to hold this animal accountable?
Would it be justified to cut ties until something is done? I just feel bad because they’re the only grandparents my kids have. Advice is very much appreciated. Thank you in advance.”
Community Advice for This Mom Whose Parents’ Dog Bit Her Son on the Face
To see what advice the Mamas Uncut Facebook community has for this mom in need, read the comments of the post embedded below.
The community offered this mom in need a lot of great advice. Read some of their responses below.
“Dog bites (in most states) have to be reported. If they are unwilling to secure the dog for the entirety of visits… don’t visit anymore. Your 4 year old may have lingering trauma and fear as a result of this and if his grandparents aren’t willing to put his needs first make them come to your house to visit and leave the dog at home.”
“I certainly wouldn’t bring my child around the dog again. Have the grandparents come to your home without the dog to visit. I don’t think you should cut ties but there have to be boundaries.”
“If it was me I would tell them to keep the dog locked away in another room, crate, or outside when my child was there from now on and if they wouldn’t agree to it then I just wouldn’t allow my child to go back to their house until they did. That’s not asking to much from them. Honestly, that’s what a responsible pet owner would do with most any larger dog around small children before they even get bit to prevent it from happening at all.”
“You can’t make them get rid of their dog but if you are worried, don’t go there anymore.”
“Just because your son is trained to respect animals does not mean they will always remember, or do the right thing. Everyone knows children often make mistakes, even if they know better. Also, it very easily could have been a misunderstanding between dog and child that caused the dog to feel threatened. Unless you saw what happened, there is no way of knowing who is at fault…
… At the end of the day, it isn’t your dog so it isn’t your choice. You can choose not to leave your son there if you aren’t present, but you have to just know the dog. If this is very out of character for it, I would encourage your mom to go to the vet. Sometimes, dogs become more territorial when they’re sick or injured.”
“He’s 4… It doesn’t matter if you have rules about animals or not. Kids are going to test their boundaries. And if the dog has bitten your kid before, why did you leave your child with the dog?”
“Sorry, all you dog lovers out there, but I would either have the dog relocated or put down. The bite was significant enough to have stitches. Not just a little nip on the hand. If this were to happen to anyone else outside of the family action would be taken. I wouldn’t come over with my child until the situation was taken care of.”
“That is the dog’s home, it is up to you to protect your child. I would ask if the dog could be put in a bedroom or outside so my child wouldn’t get bit. If they agree then great, if not then it is your choice on whether to go there or not.”
“I have been a veterinary technician for 10 years. We have a rule in my house: 1 bite, especially kids, and you are out… I have seen such terrible things happen to kids from dogs…
… If you want to try the route of making her take the dog to the veterinarian and making sure there isn’t anything physically wrong (bloodwork/Xray/exam) you could try that, but from experience, the bites and attacks will get worse and worse. I would take it upon yourself and not bring your child there anymore and suggest she find a new home or have the dog humanely euthanized.”
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