Thursday, May 22, 2014

National Dog Bite Prevention Week, May 18-24, 2014

Statistics show that every year there are over 4,500,000 dog bites each year with at least 800,000 resulting in need of medical attention. Unfortunately, most of these bites deal with children and result in an average of 400,000 children being treated for dog bites annually.

One thing to remember is no dog is exempt from biting. Even a small dog can bite and cause serious injuries. National Dog Bite Prevention Week, sponsored by American Veterinary Medical Association, is designed to help bring awareness and teach the public how to prevent dog bites. Several things can be done to protect you and your family including the following:

  • Always make sure one's dog is on a leash when outdoors. This will help ensure the owner has better control of their dog and a bite is less likely to happen. While out of the house, avoid putting the dog in situations where they may feel threatened or be subject to teasing. Make sure your dog will understand and obey basic commands before having out in the general public. Make sure you spay/neuter your pet, keep them up-to-date on all vaccinations (including rabies), and exercise your pet regularly. Most importantly, never allow a child to handle a dog without adult supervision.
  • Be sure to educate your children about the safety of dogs even if you currently do not have a dog in your household. Children should know to exercise caution when approaching a dog that is unknown to them. Be sure your children also know how important it is to seek permission from the dog's owner before approaching them.
  • If you are unsure about a dog's temperament, avoid situations where you may run past a dog giving the dog a reason to become excited or possibly aggressive. Never put yourself in a situation where you are disturbing a dog that is sleeping, taking care of puppies, or eating. If a dog makes one feel threatened, stay still and most of all, remain calm!
A number of things can be done to prevent dog bites such as proper dog/owner training and making sure the pet has great socialization skills. Having proper information and education about dogs, and their specific breeds, are the best ways to prevent dog bites.