As the weather gets warmer, many dog owners allow their pooch to chill out in the garden, or leave doors open for a breeze – but postal workers are asking pet owners to check their dog is secure while they deliver mail.
Despite a drop in dog attacks on postmen and women by nearly a third in the last year, there are still 33 incidents each week across the UK.
The 31 per cent fall recorded by Royal Mail was largely driven by the move to contact free deliveries during the pandemic.
The postal group was the first company to launch contact free delivery enabling its colleagues to deliver mail and parcels at the doorstep while adhering to social distancing measures. As a result, there were 1,690 dog attacks, down from 2,445 the previous year.
Now, Royal Mail have launched a number of tips to keep both postal workers, and your dog safe.
The company said: “Even the most lovable dog can be a danger to postal workers. Dogs are territorial by nature and if they feel they need to protect their family, they can become unpredictable.
“Please help us to deliver your post safely by keeping your dog secure and out of the way before the postman or woman arrives. Place your pet in the back garden or a faraway room.
“Think twice before opening the door – is your dog secure?”
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Royal Mail suggest closing off any access to the back garden that your dog could get around whilst your postie is in the front garden – they also recommend putting your dog in another room before answering the door.
To keep your dog entertained whilst you sign for a parcel, occupy them with some food or a toy, and wait until 10 minutes after the post has arrived before letting your pet in the hallway, to keep everything calm.
Royal Mail also recommends wire letter boxes, or external mailboxes to help keep everyone safe.
They said: “If your dog likes to attack your mail, consider installing a wire letter box behind the door to protect your post and the postman or postwoman’s fingers.
“If it’s not practical for you to keep your dog away from a postman or postwoman delivering your mail, please consider fitting a secure mailbox on the edge of your property.”
And as required by law, your dog should be microchipped, wearing a collar and tag with up to date details.
The advice comes as pet owners could be taken to court should their dog bite a postal worker.
Royal Mail said: “We take the safety of our postmen and women very seriously. Following the changes to the Dangerous Dog Act in England and Wales that came into force in May 2014, please be aware that Royal Mail may commence private prosecutions against dog owners where the police have failed to take the appropriate action.
“Note that the law also applies to dog owners who fail to take steps to prevent their dogs from biting postal workers fingers through a letter box. The impact on postal workers can be devastating as injuries can have a disabling and permanent effect.”