The Use of Canine Pepper Sprays

Posted by   Steve Thibeault
08/29/2009
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Defense Against Stray Dogs

You’ve heard of canine pepper sprays. But how effective are they really at deterring attack from an aggressive dog?

Sometimes, the one thing that stands between you and a very angry dog is a can of pepper spray. Dogs are generally docile creatures, easy to tame and train. But there are certain circumstances when dogs can be dangerous, particularly if they are aggressive or feral.

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They can be a threat if they are trained as a watchdog and you somehow strayed into their territory. To a dog, it’s simply trying to defend itself from what it considers a threat; to you, it’s a reason to be worried. This is why you might want to consider using canine pepper spray to protect yourself and keep the dog from attacking.

What’s in a Spray?

Canine pepper spray contains similar ingredients used in regular pepper sprays, only formulated for dogs. The common active ingredient is called Oleoresin capsicum, a substance that’s found in certain species of pepper.

Canine pepper sprays rely on the ability of this substance to produce an adverse reaction. The substance is incredibly irritating, causing an immediate reaction on the mucous membranes found in the nose, eyes, mouth, and throat of the dog. When sprayed, the substance goes to work causing the dog to sneeze, close its eyes involuntarily and gag.

The effect, while immediate, is only temporary. It can distract even a very aggressive dog for several minutes, giving you sufficient time to run away.

What to look for when buying canine pepper sprays

The very first thing to consider when purchasing canine pepper spray is formulation. Be careful with what the spray contains. Look for the ingredient Oleoresin capsicum on the bottle or canister and check for other chemicals that may be included. Remember that your intention is to stop, prevent or discourage an attacking animal from physically harming you, not to cause permanent or lethal harm.

Are there any harmful side effects on dogs?

The most direct result that canine pepper spray can produce on dogs are the symptoms mentioned above. Other than that, these sprays are not known to cause permanent damage on dogs, although effects with prolonged exposure have not been studied. Although the effects of canine pepper spray on dogs tend to produce negative reactions, it is actually considered a non-lethal — and therefore humane — way of controlling a wild, aggressive animal. It is a far better alternative to, say, using physical force.

Effective Defense Against Stray Dogs

Ideally, every dog should be loved and cared for by its owner, and that includes vaccinations, spaying, and neutering, proper nutrition, walking them regularly on a leash, etc.

However, many dogs are abused, abandoned and become strays due to irresponsible dog ownership. In some locations, the situation has become a growing concern.

Defense Against Stray Dogs

Defense Against Stray Dogs

Stray dogs are a reality, and some of these dogs can be dangerous, no matter the breed. Furthermore, in some states, there are no leash laws. Dogs are free to roam without any repercussions to the owners.

Millions of adults and children are bitten or mauled by dangerous dogs every year. Dog pepper spray is one defense humans have against threat or injury from a dog attack.

Canine Sprays

Dog Pepper SpraysDog pepper sprays contain a pepper mist. More specifically, an ingredient such as OC (oleoresin capsicum) is typically used. Reputable makers produce products that are considered safe and humane for use as a dog repellent.

The spray can shoot for a number of feet, up to as much as 10 feet with some products, and is shot in quick bursts. This means that a person does not have to be up-close-and-personal with a dog, risking even more danger, in order to use the spray. Often these products come with belt clips or keychain attachments for easy access.

Despite its intended target – a dangerous dog – humans must be careful when using the product. If you are forced to use pepper spray on a windy day, it’s important that you take care.

It is possible for the spray to hit the user if the weather is windy. Just as when the spray hits a dog, you will experience similar effects if you accidentally get pepper spray into your eyes, nose, etc.

There are a variety of reasons to use a dog pepper spray as a defense against stray dogs:

1. Professionals, such mail carriers, carry them for protection.

Although postal carriers will not randomly spray dogs for no good reason, they carry pepper spray for their safety. If a dog owner has failed to secure their dog, and a mail carrier is reasonably feeling he or she is about to be attacked, they have a right to use the spray. Other professionals, who risk dog injury or attack, will proceed in the same fashion.

2. Runners and walkers, who travel through areas inhabited by stray dogs, may choose dog pepper spray.

People who use running outside as their form of exercise face a number of dangers. One of them is traffic. But another one is a stray dog, particularly if the person chooses to run at night.

A runner can stop running, or they can shout at the dog to make it go away. They can also climb a tree if they are faced with a very vicious dog.

However, a runner can feel safer by clipping a small can of dog pepper spray to their running clothes in case it’s needed. A person should not have to give up running due to the number of stray dogs in a neighborhood. The use of the spray gives a runner the freedom to continue to enjoy the activity.

Another example of a person who may choose to carry the spray is people who frequently walk rather than drive or ride a bike. For example, if you walk home from work every day, but you are forced to walk through an area that is frequented by a stray dog or dogs, the spray would be a handy tool for you to carry with you.

There have been complaints about the use of these sprays. Although the makers assure that the products are not harmful to dogs, they do have an effect on dogs that some people oppose.

When a canine pepper spray is used on an animal, the mist enters the eyes and mucous membranes. There is pain and swelling as a result of the contact. However, these effects only last for about an hour. Nevertheless, an hour of pain for a dog is too much for those who oppose these products.

Dog pepper spray can be found here.

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