Fancy a hot dog?

In warmer weather, even the most placid of dogs can become unpredictable

Last week, the High Court ruled that dog owners could spend up to five years in prison under the Dangerous Dog Act, if they fail to take preventative measures to stop their dogs from attacking colleagues' hands through the letterbox.

As temperatures are set to rise across the UK this week, it’s important to remember that even the most placid of dogs can get hot, uncomfortable and unpredictable. It’s therefore vital all colleagues remember that in warmer weather, more dogs are likely to be loose outside and could potentially be prone to unpredictable behaviour.

In the last year, 2,445 dog attacks have taken place on our postmen and women across the UK. Although the total number of attacks dipped slightly by 2 per cent year on year, there are still around 47 attacks taking place every week across the UK, with some leading to permanent and disabling injuries.

During our eighth annual Dog Awareness Week in July, we promoted our advice to dog owners through social media and encouraged them to link through to our external ‘Dog Awareness’ website with further advice on keeping their dog secure when our people call.

Top tips for dog owners to help keep our people safe

  • If your dog likes to attack your mail, consider installing a letterbox covering. It will protect your post, and your postman’s or postwoman’s fingers.
  • Remember to deploy the letterbox covering if you’re going out and your dog has access to the hallway/front door.
  • Ensure your dog is out of the way before the postman or woman arrives. Place your pet in the back garden or a faraway room.
  • If you have a back garden, please close off the access, in case your dog could get around to the front when the postman calls.
  • Dog attacks can happen when you’ve opened the door to sign for an item. Please keep your dog in another room before answering the door and make sure children don’t open the door, as dogs can push by them and attack.
  • Give your dog some food or a toy to occupy them while your mail is being delivered.
  • Wait 10 minutes after your mail has arrived to let your pet back into your hallway. Keep everything as calm and low-key as possible.
  • 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.
  • Please ensure your dog is microchipped, wearing a collar and tag, and that your contact details on the tag and microchip are up to date.

Colleagues can also play their part by discussing the dog safety advice we provide with any dog owners you know.

15 Sep 2020