Dog Bite Prevention- An Overview
About 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year; almost one in five of those are children. Dog bites can cause emotional distress, serious injury, disfigurement, and even death. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2006 more than 31,000 people underwent reconstructive surgery as a result of being bitten by dogs. The best way to avoid emotional and physical injury from a dog bite is prevention, prevention, prevention. Information below provided by the Humane Society of the United States and the CDC.
Avoiding Dog Bites- Inside Your Home
- Consult with a professional before bringing a new dog into your home.
- Spend time with the dog before buying or adopting it.
- Spay/neuter your dog to reduce aggressive tendencies.
- Never leave infants/young children alone with a dog.
- Do not play aggressive games with the dog.
- Consider enrolling your pet in a training course to teach it socialization and submissive behaviors.
Avoiding Dog Bites- Outside Your Home
- Be cautious of dogs that don’t know you- they may perceive you as a threat.
- Be cautious around any dogs that seem to be acting strangely, even if you know them.
- Don't disturb a dog that’s sleeping, eating, chewing on a toy, or caring for puppies.
In the Event of an Attack
- Resist the impulse to scream and run away.
- Remain motionless, hands at your sides, and avoid eye contact with the dog.
- Once the dog loses interest in you, slowly back away until he/she is out of sight.
- If the dog does attack, “feed” him your jacket, purse, bicycle, or anything that you can put between yourself and the dog.
- If you fall or are knocked to the ground, curl into a ball with your hands over your ears and remain motionless.
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