This Week Is Dog Bite Prevention Week

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Learn how to stay safe around your furry friends.

Dogs give us comfort, companionship, exercise, entertainment, and unconditional love. But it’s important to remember that any dog can bite, even trusted family pets. Not only can dog bites hurt, but they can also become infected and spread diseases. Nearly 1 in 5 people who are bitten by a dog require medical attention. This Dog Bite Prevention Week, take some time to learn how to protect yourself and your family from dog bites.

Learn the signs to watch for

A vicious looking dog showing his teeth

Any dog can bite, especially when scared, nervous, eating, or when playing or protecting toys or puppies. Dogs may also bite when they aren’t feeling well and want to be left alone. Don’t approach a dog that seems angry, scared, or sick.

Responsible pet ownership, including socializing your dog, avoiding rough play, and using a leash in public, can help prevent dog bites.

Children are most at risk

Dog sniffing little girl hand

Children are the most common victims of dog bites. Most dog bites affecting young children occur during everyday activities with familiar dogs. Always supervise kids around dogs, even familiar pets. Teaching kids how to interact properly with dogs can help keep them safe.

If an unfamiliar dog approaches you:

  • Stay still and be calm.
  • Avoid direct eye contact with the dog.
  • Do not panic, make loud noises, or run.
  • Say “no” or “go home” in a firm, deep voice and stand with the side of your body facing the dog.
  • Slowly raise your hands to your neck with your elbows in and wait for the dog to pass or slowly back away.