Help Prevent Dog Bites!
National Dog Bite Prevention Week takes place during the third full week of May each year, and focuses on educating people about preventing dog bites.
There is an estimated population of 70 million dogs living in U.S. households, most of them nice, but any dog can bite. Millions of people – most of them children – are bitten by dogs every year- see numbers below. The majority of these bites, if not all, are preventable through supervising, training, socializing and properly caring for puppies and dogs, watching visual cues, choosing the right dog breed and understanding dog behaviour, neutering, monitoring small children with dogs and other means.
Send us your thoughts, tips and experiences.
Watch for information from the AVMA. Dr. Bain – DVM, a board-certified veterinary behaviorist and chief of the Behavior Service at the UC Davis William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital (VMTH)- joins the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Humane Society of the United States in reminding pet owners and other members of the public of some tips on how to avoid dog bites (source : http://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/whatsnew/article.cfm?id=2716)
If you own a dog
• Learn about dog bite prevention, including the basics of responsible ownership and veterinary care
• Never leave a child or baby alone with a dog without direct adult supervision
• Talk to your veterinarian about the best ways to socialize your puppy and keep it healthy
• Introduce animals to new situations gradually
• When out and about, be aware of others around you; obey leash laws
• Neuter your pet, as it may help reduce some aggression in dogs (not to mention helping reduce pet overpopulation)
• Learn to read your dog’s body language so that you will be aware of potential situations that could lead to aggression
• Teach young children to be cautious and respectful around dogs, staying away from strange dogs and asking owner permission before petting an unfamiliar dog
• Respect a dog’s behavior tendencies
• Whether or not they own pets, adults should teach children to respect a dog’s natural instincts. Do not disturb an animal that is eating, resting, or caring for its puppies
If you encounter an aggressive dog
• Stay still and calm. Children can learn to stand very still and “be a post” or “be a rock” until the animal leaves
• Stay quiet, or speak in a low, calm voice
• Avoid eye contact with the animal
• Try to put something between you and the dog. If you are on a bicycle and a dog chases you, stop the bicycle and dismount. Use the bicycle as a barrier between you and the animal
• Back away slowly, and remain facing the animal until it is gone
• If you fall or are knocked down, curl into a ball and use your hands and arms to protect the face, neck and head