In 2018, there were 4.7 million people bitten by dogs throughout the US. Twenty percent of those victims required medical attention. Since children are small and unaware of the potential danger when interacting with a dog, they typically experience the worst injuries.
Use this article as a guide to how you can do your part in preventing dog bites!
Why Do Dogs Bite?
Dogs usually bite as a reaction to one of the following stressful situations:
- They may be scared or threatened.
- They feel the need to protect themselves, their puppies, their owners, their food or even a toy.
- They are not feeling well, or they are startled.
- They may become over-excited during rough play and, consequently, nip and bite.
- In multiple dog households, dogs may fight over food, territory, and companionship. Owners could be bitten while they try to break up the fight.
How to Prevent/Avoid a Dog Bite:
- Don’t approach an unfamiliar dog.
- Spay/neuter your dog to reduce aggressiveness.
- Don’t allow children to be unsupervised around dogs.
- Don’t allow children to climb on dogs.
- Don’t disturb dogs when they are sleeping, eating or caring for their puppies.
- Don’t run from a dog, panic or make load noises.
- Always ask before attempting to pet someone else’s dog.
- Allow a dog to sniff and smell you before you attempt to pet it. Afterwards, scratch the animal under the chin, not on the head.
- Don’t encourage your dog to play aggressively.
- If a dog is on the other side of a fence, don’t reach through or over the fence to try and pet it.
- Don’t reach into an open car window and try to pet an unfamiliar dog.
- If a dog is barking or growling, leave it alone.
- If a dog appears to be hiding, frightened or seeking time alone...be wary.
Remember, Any Dog Can Bite!
It’s important to educate yourself, your children, and others about dog bite prevention.
Children are by far the most common victims of dog bites and are far more likely to be severely injured.
It’s our job as dog owners and parents to teach children when and how to interact with canine companions in a safe, supervised environment.
If you have any further questions about dog bites or dog bite prevention, please give us a call at (607) 336-7387.