LoneTree_iStock_000019302673_LargeEach year, over 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs, and 1 in 5 of these injuries requires medical attention. These statistics may come as a surprise to dog owners who can’t imagine that their sweet pup would ever bite a human but, the truth is, any dog is capable of biting under the right circumstances.

With National Dog Bite Prevention Week right around the corner (May 22-28), now is the perfect opportunity to educate yourself and others about dog bite prevention. By learning about dog body language, proper training, socialization skills, and other important factors that may lead to being bitten, you can help to ensure an environment that is safe for both people and dogs.

Dog Bite Prevention Tips For Kids

Children, especially between the ages of 5 and 9, are much more likely to be bitten by a dog than anyone else. By teaching your kids the following “dos and don’ts” of interacting with dogs, you can help them to stay safe and reduce their chances of being bitten.

Dog Bite Prevention Do’s:

  • Ask the owner’s permission before petting an unfamiliar dog
  • Offer an extended hand for a dog to sniff prior to petting
  • Let an adult know if an unfamiliar dog is loose in the neighborhood
  • Respect a dog’s space and boundaries

Dog Bite Prevention Don’ts:

  • Run up to a dog, reach your hand over their heads, or any other abrupt action
  • Approach a dog that is eating, sleeping, chewing on a bone or toy, or caring for puppies
  • Pet a dog through a fence or car window, or one that is tied up outside a home or building
  • Approach an unfamiliar dog

Responsible Pet Ownership

Of the millions of dog bite injuries that occur each year, over half take place in a home with dogs that are familiar to us. Besides educating yourself and the children in your life about dog bite prevention, fulfilling the requirements of responsible pet ownership is essential in raising a happy, confident, well-behaved dog that is not prone to aggression.

  • Keep your dog up to date on all vaccines and parasite preventive medications.
  • Make and keep regular wellness appointments for your dog.
  • Make sure your dog is properly socialized and trained. Ideally this training would start young, but it’s never too late for a dog to learn these valuable skills. Contact Lone Tree Veterinary Medical Center to learn more about our professional training and socialization classes.
  • Having your dog spayed/neutered can cut down on aggression and behavior problems.
  • Make sure your dog knows he or she is a valued family member. Dogs that are left tied up outside or regularly unsupervised for hours on end can develop anxiety and other emotional issues that may make them more prone to aggression and biting.

Lone Tree Veterinary Medical Center is here to help! If you have any questions about dog bite prevention or would like to learn more about our Canine Academy obedience classes, give us a call.