Dog Bite Prevention

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The vast majority of interactions between people and dogs are happy and benign. But the reality is, dogs do bite. It's a dog's natural defense and protection mechanism. Knowing this, we all need to be aware and understand how and why dog bites occur and how to prevent them.

In an effort to focus on understanding and avoiding dog bites, the third week of May has been designated National Dog Bite Prevention Week.

Information is one of the best cures so be sure to follow these general tips to reduce dog bite incidents:  

  • Use caution when approaching any dog who is sleeping, eating, or caring for puppies.
  • Always ask permission to pet unfamiliar dogs. 
  • When approaching a dog, begin by letting the dog sniff your closed hand.
  • If a loose dog comes toward you, avoid eye contact with the animal and stand very still, "like a tree," until the dog gets more comfortable or moves away.
  • If you believe you are in danger from a dog, try to place something between you like a backpack or a bike.
  • If you fall or are knocked to the ground, curl into a ball with your hands over your ears and remain motionless. Try not to scream or roll around.

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As a dog owner, you can work to reduce dog bite incidents, by:

Teaching your dog well

Teach your dog appropriate behavior. Don't teach your dog to chase after or attack others, even in fun. Your dog can't always understand the difference between play and real-life situations. Set appropriate limits for your dog's behavior.

Be a responsible dog owner

License your dog as required by law, and provide regular veterinary care, including rabies vaccinations. For everyone's safety, don't allow your dog to roam alone. Make your dog a member of your family.   Dogs who spend a great deal of time alone in the backyard or tied on a chain often become dangerous. Dogs who are well-socialized and supervised are much less likely to bite.

Err on the safe side

If you don't know how your dog will react to a new situation, be cautious. If your dog may panic in crowds, leave him at home. If your dog overreacts to visitors or delivery or service personnel, keep him in another room. Work with professionals to help your dog become accustomed to these and other situations. Until you are confident of his behavior, however, avoid stressful settings.

Written by hart at 00:00
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