National Dog Bite Prevention Week is May 15-21. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association more than 4.5 million people in 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
- 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