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National Dog Bite Prevention Week is May 15-21. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association more than 4.5 million people DogBite_2016in the U.S. are bitten by dogs each year.

Below are some important facts: 

  • Almost 1 in 5 people bitten by dogs require medical attention.
  • Every year, more than 800,000 Americans receive medical attention for dog bites; at least half of them are children.
  • Children are the most common victims of dog bites and are far more likely to be severely injured.
  • Most dog bites affecting young children occur during everyday activities and while interacting with familiar dogs.
  • Senior citizens are the second most common dog bite victims.

Dog bites can occur at any time. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to a dog’s body language.

Here are some signals that indicate a dog is uncomfortable and may feel the need to bite:

  • Tensed body
  • Stiff tail
  • Pulled back head and/or ears
  • Furrowed brow
  • Eyes rolled so the whites are visible
  • Yawning
  • Flicking tongue
  • Intense stare
  • Backing away

Never disturb a dog while she’s sleeping, eating, chewing on a toy, or caring for puppies. Be cautious around strange dogs. Always assume that a dog who doesn’t know you may see you as an intruder or a threat.

Teach children the DOG SAFE rule:

D: Don’t tease, please
O: Only pet with permission
G: Give space

S: Slow down
A: Always get help
F: Fingers together
E: Even good dogs can bite

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