February 12th has been named official Safetypup® Day! This isn’t about dog safety, per se, but rather a celebration of a very special canine: Safetypup®. A local Cherry Hill, NJ vet turns the spotlight on this iconic pooch below.
Safetypup® was created by the National Child Safety Council’s Research & Development Department. He was given one specific but very important duty: teaching children about safety issues. The pooch made his official doggy debut back in 1985, on—you guessed it—February 12th. He was officially introduced by actress Rita Moreno at a conference, which made national news.
A Success Story
The Safetypup® character has been used by many different law enforcement agencies, and has become a fun, friendly face of safety awareness. Often used during safety discussions and presentations for kids, the pup has also been shown on milk cartons accompanied by helpful tips and slogas. (One could almost say that no cuter kids’ learning tool has ever existed, but Smokey The Bear may take issue with that.) Today, the NCSA offers many tools that may be used by educators, law enforcement, and child protection services, such as an official Safetypup® costume, which can be ordered here.
The best way to honor Safetypup® Day would be by raising awareness about safety. If you have children, this is a great time to talk to them about safety issues. As for us? Well, while safety is something that should take center stage in many areas, we’re going to focus on one that’s in our wheelhouse: keeping kids safe around dogs. It’s very important to teach little ones the do’s and don’ts of interacting with Fido! Teaching some basic principles can go a long way here. At the top of the list? Never force attention on a strange dog, or try to pet or interact with a loose or unfamiliar pup unless permission has been given from the owner. Another aspect of this would be teaching your kids how to read Fido’s body language. Start with the basics, such as growling being a warning sign. Older kids can also learn the nuances of doggy body language. For instance, a pup that is licking his lips is likely feeling nervous, and may therefore be prone to attacking. You can never know too much!
Do you have questions about your pet’s health or care? Contact us, your Cherry Hill, NJ animal clinic, anytime!