The Royal Mail – in conjunction with the Communications Workers Union (CWU) – have released new figures that show an average of nine postal workers a day are attacked by dogs across the UK. From April 2013 to April 2014, more than 3,300 attacks on postal workers we recorded – an eight per cent increase on the previous year. To highlight the this very real issue the Royal Mail are running ‘Dog Awareness Week’ up to Friday 4th July, with a postmark of the awareness week printed on letters to make owners think about the problems pet dogs can sometimes cause postal workers.
With this in mind, we thought we’d have a look at how to keep both your dog and your postal worker happy.
It should be remembered that dogs often behave in a negative way through fear rather than outright aggression. Therefore, although obvious, keeping your dog away from the letterbox during delivery hours can drastically reduce the chance of them biting anyone.
Incidents involving dogs and postal workers tend to rise during the summer months when children are on their school holidays and pet dogs are allowed a bit more leeway in terms of being unsupervised in the garden.
So what happens if you can’t be there during the hours when the post usually comes? Or indeed, if the post arrives much later than usual? Fear not as there are extra precautions you can take as opposed to just keeping your dog away from the front door or out of the garden in the morning.
Rather than trying to keep your dog away from the letterbox at all times why not invest in a cage that goes around the letterbox. This way the postal worker will be able to post letters through the door without any chance of getting nipped. In addition, the cage can act as a basket of sorts and stop the letters from being torn to shreds by dogs with that sort of inclination.
Depending on your location, you may be able to switch and have a lockable outside letterbox/drop off point creating a safer space for postal and delivery workers to leave letters and parcels. This will not only provide protection for delivery persons but will also be beneficial if your dog is left in the property whilst you are out.
If you are really worried about the delivery of post having a negative effect, not just on your postal worker, but also on your dog, you can even arrange to pick up your post each morning from your local post office.
Reducing incidents involving dogs and postal workers is something that can easily be put in place; all it takes is a little forethought and consideration. This summer, and beyond, we should all take extra care to safeguard both our postal workers and our dogs.