Dog Bite Prevention Week May 20-26, 2012
There are approximately 78.2 million owned dogs in the United States. Not counting those not registered. Dogs are a wonderful addition to most families. They offer comfort, companionship, and protection to many. However, they are also a real threat to an uneducated owner and especially to children.
Education and responsibility will aide in the prevention of dog bites across the US. With education, you can help avoid an attack on a human, a dog, and also prevent a dog from being euthanized for improper handling from uneducated owners.
“Someone in the United States seeks medical attention for a dog bite every 40 seconds”. That does not account for cases that are not reported or do not require professional medical treatment. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) dog bites are a “Public Health Crisis”.
Over 800,000 people in the US alone need immediate medical attention for dog bites. Dog bites are the 5th most common cause for an ER visit. Most dog bites are often 100% preventable.
A dog’s body language is how dogs communicate with us; it is how you know whether an interaction is welcomed. Many dog owners assume their own dog won’t ever bite, but a dog is an animal and is not always predictable. Learning and responding properly to a dog’s body language and behaviors will lessen the number of bites in this country.
- Learn and NEVER ignore the warning signs that your dog is in distress or feels threatened and remove them immediately.
- Train your dog early on, encouraging appropriate behavior.
- Properly handle your dog when visitors, especially young children visit.
- Learn the laws in your town and state.
- Do not ignore any aggressive behaviors in your dog.
- Speak to a trained professional at the very first sign of aggressive behavior.
- Give them plenty of exercise.
- Learn basic Dog body language, if you know the cues, you can avoid being in the presence of a possibly aggressive dog.
- Keep distance from a dog who does not listen or adhere to its owner (i.e., owner doesn’t have control, dog is pulling leash).
- Observe the dog’s mouth, if it’s closed or if the dog is licking its lips; back away.
- Avoid direct eye contact with dogs
- Do not scream or run away from a dog that shows signs of aggression
- Stand stiff like a tree; look down, hands clasped together if an unfriendly dog is approaching.
- If knocked down, curl up in a ball protecting you face, throat, and neck.
- Do not put your face up to a dog’s face
- Never tease or taunt a dog!
For more information on dog safety visit, http://www.doggonesafe.com/