Dog Bite Facts:
- Each year more than 4.5 million people in the U.S. are bitten by dogs
- Almost 1 in 5 people bitten by dogs require medical attention
- Every year more 800,000 Americans receive medical attention for dog bites, at least half of them are children
- Children are by far the most common victims of dog bites and are far more likely to be severely injured
- Most dog bites affecting young children occur during everyday activities and while interacting with familiar dogs
- Senior citizens are the second most common dog bite victims
There are many things you can do to avoid dog bites, ranging from properly training and socializing your pet to educating your children on how – or if – they should approach a dog. Information and education are the best solutions for this public health crisis.
Here are 5 tips for reducing dog bite occurrences:
- Never leave a child unattended with any dog, regardless of how friendly you think a dog may be. If you are looking to get a pet dog, you should consider postponing the occasion until your child is a little older.
- Don’t encourage aggression in your dog because you want a “guard dog” to protect the home or business, this can only end up badly for you and your dog. Instead, train and socialize your dog so it is familiar and comfortable being around people and in different situations. If it’s security you want. build a higher fence!
- Train your dog all the basic commands like “sit, no, stay, come”. This is done to build trust between you and your dog while also giving you a little extra control over your dogs actions. You’re mailman will appreciate it!
- Always keep your dog on a leash when you are out of the house-this is for the safety of everyone, including your dog. All it takes is a dog across the street to set your dog off running on the the road, or after someone. A leash is a simple but effective way to restrain your dog from chasing after that cat, or kid on a skateboard.
- Educate your children that while most dogs are friendly, there are dogs out there that may feel threatened by people causing them to follow their instincts and protect themselves.
Here are some tips from the AVMA you should teach your kids to follow when around dogs:
- Don’t approach a dog that is sleeping, eating or caring for puppies
- Never reach through or over a fence to pet a dog
- Stay still if a dog comes up to you to have a sniff
- If confronted by an aggressive dog, STAY CALM– stay still. or try to back away slowly, do not turn and run.
The best thing you can do to prevent dog bites is to use common sense. Follow your gut. If something doesn’t feel right or that dog is looking at you funny, remove yourself from the situation.
Copyright: AVMA, www.avma.org/public/Pages/Dog-Bite-Prevtion, Dog Bite Prevtion Week: 5 ways to prevent dog bites, http://www.activ4pets.com