How to Reduce the Risk of Dog Bites for Delivery Drivers

Delivery drivers are often faced with the risk of being bitten by a dog while on their route. It's important to take necessary precautions in order to reduce this risk and make sure everyone stays safe, dogs included.
Friendly looking, medium-sized dog sitting in homeowner's driveway.

6 Dog Bite Prevention Tips for Delivery Drivers

The following are steps that delivery drivers should take in order to protect themselves from dog bites.

1. Check For Signs of a Pet

Be aware of your surroundings when entering a customer’s property area. Look for signs of a pet, such as barking or whining, from behind closed doors or windows. If you see an agitated pet inside the house or on the property, or you see a “Beware of…” sign do not approach and contact the customer before attempting delivery. As a general rule of thumb, if you feel threatened, don’t even leave your vehicle.

Beware of Dog sign posted on a white picket fence at a home.

2. Wear Protective Gear

If available, consider wearing thick leather gloves and boots when delivering to homes with dogs present. This will provide some protection if a dog does attack you unexpectedly.


3. Carry Pepper Spray

Pepper spray is an effective deterrent against most animals and can help keep them at bay until help arrives or until you can safely leave the premises without fear of being attacked by an animal again. Make sure to read up on proper usage instructions and safety protocols when using pepper spray around animals, as it can cause harm if not used correctly.


4. Use the Resources Around You

Use the item(s) you are delivering to block a charging animal. Leveraging whatever object you have at your disposal can create enough separation between both parties to safely allow yourself time to back away slowly if possible. It may not seem practical at first thought, but using items that are already close by in such situations can be invaluable. Also, be aware that if you are delivering food, the dog might be extra aggressive in an attempt to get to the food. If the dog is attempting to get at the food, toss it far from you in a diversion to escape.


5. Avoid Sudden Movements

It can be easy to get scared when a dog is running toward you, but it is important to remember that running away from the dog may only scare them more and may cause them to act aggressively. The best thing you can do to ensure your safety is to stay still and avoid making any sudden movements. Doing these two things can help prevent the situation from escalating and give you the opportunity to walk away slowly if possible.

6. Be Careful when Offering a Dog a Treat

While it may be tempting to carry dog treats with you in an attempt to befriend the animal, this could have unintended consequences. They could become food-aggressive in an attempt to get more treats. There is also the risk of giving a dog treat to a dog that has sensitive food allergies. Also, wait until you exit your vehicle before giving a dog a treat – if they associate vehicles with treats instead of people, they could begin charging or chasing all vehicles, creating more of a safety issue for you and other delivery drivers.

Dog sitting in the grass while a person is about to throw them a dog treat.

Reducing the risk of dog bites for delivery drivers is essential for protecting both employees and customers. By staying aware of their surroundings, wearing protective gear, carrying pepper spray, using on-hand resources, and avoiding sudden movements, delivery drivers can protect themselves from potential danger when delivering products to homes with pets present. Always remember that safety comes first—and following these tips can help keep everyone safe!

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