National Dog Bite Prevention Week – May 18-24 – Tips, Tips and More Tips!
With this week being National Dog Bite Prevention Week, I wanted to take some time to pass along some tips to keep you safe and your canine companion out of trouble.
Dogs bite almost 5 million people a year with the largest number of victims being children. Dog bites are preventable but it’s up to people, not dogs, to prevent them!
Here’s some safety and prevention tips;
- Never approach an unfamiliar dog, particularly one that is confined or restrained. If you see a loose dog, report it to your local Animal Control facility.
- Don’t pet an unfamiliar dog without permission then let it sniff you first. Pet the dog gently avoiding the head, face and tail.
- If approached by an unfamiliar dog, remain motionless (be still like a tree) until the dog leaves the area. Do not scream or run from the dog.
- Avoid direct eye contact with a dog. Staring into a dog’s eyes can be perceived as an act of aggression and dominance.
- If a dog should try to attack, “feed” the dog your jacket, purse, book bag, or anything that can come between you and the dog.
- If you fall or are knocked down, curl into a ball and put your hands over your ears. Try not to scream or roll around.
- Don’t disturb a dog that is sleeping, eating or caring for puppies.
- Don’t play rough or aggressive games with dogs.
- Teach children ‘petiquette’ – pet etiquette. Dogs are not toys or entertainment and many will not tolerate being hit, tugged on or teased.
- Spay or neuter your dog. This will help to reduce aggressive tendencies as well as a dog’s tendency to roam but will not reduce a dog’s protective nature.
- Make sure you take the time to properly train and socialize your dog. Well socialized dogs are more comfortable and confident, less apt to be skittish or nervous around people and other dogs. Well trained dogs tend to be more bonded and trustful with their owners.
- Do not chain your dog!! Dogs that are perpetually chained tend to be very protective of their little area and can be extremely aggressive in protecting it. Chained dogs are notoriously untrained and unsocialized.
If you are bitten by a dog;
- Request proof of rabies vaccination from the dog owner, get the owner’s name and contact information, and contact the dog’s veterinarian to check vaccination records.
- Immediately consult with your doctor. Clean bite wound with soup and water as soon as possible.
- If the attack victim is bleeding from a dog bite, immediately take them to a doctor or emergency room.
- Report animal bites to animal control. If the bite was from a stray or dog running loose, be sure to provide as much information about the dog as possible – what the dog looked like, where you saw the dog.
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