Dog Bite Prevention week was created by The Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention (or CDC) to bring awareness
to the health hazards of dog bites, and how they can be
prevented. Each year more than 4.7 million people are bitten
by a dog in the United States. Children are the most common
dog bite victims and senior citizens are the second most
common. More than 800,000 Americans seek medical treatment
for a dog bite each year, and half of those are children.
Dog Bite Prevention Week is just that, it is all about how
people can avoid being the victim of a dog bite. Although
random dog bites do happen, statistics show that you are
much more likely to be bitten by a dog you own or are
familiar with. That is why making sure that your dog has the
proper training to not bite people is the best prevention
there is to avoid bites.
There are a number of other things you can do to minimize
the possibility of dog bites.
One of the most important things you can do is to really
take the time and effort to choose your dog's breed and the
individual dog wisely. Dogs or puppies that are chosen on
impulse are not always a good fit for your family, which can
leave the dog and family members in a tense situation that
might make a dog bite more likely. Once you have picked the
right pet, training and socialization are very important.
Making sure your dog understands basic commands and is able
to socialize easily with humans and animals is a good thing
for both you and for your pet. Always make sure you use a
leash when out in public though, even once your dog is well
trained, because if something does go awry you have a tool
to control the dog and remove it from the situation.
Another thing that is incredibly important to making sure
you don't have a dog that bites is to make sure the animal
has a healthy and safe environment. High stress levels or
insecurity can lead to your canine friend lashing out. Make
sure you pet never feels threatened or teased or cornered.
This is especially important if you have young children in
the house who may not realize that their behavior toward the
dog could be seen as taunting or frightening. Also make
sure that your dog gets lots of exercise. A dog that needs
exercise or a toilet break can become anxious, irritable and
possibly even become aggressive.
Education goes a long way in preventing dog bites as well.
Since the group most susceptible to being bitten by a dog is
children, make sure you talk to your children about the
dangers of strange animals, how to approach a dog if
permission is given, and how to treat your own animals with
respect. Never let your children pet or approach a strange
dog unless you have asked the owner if the pet is friendly
first and you are close by to intervene if needed.
Dog Bite Prevention Week is held in May each year and to
find out more information you can visit the CDC's website at
www.cdc.gov. There are several agencies throughout the US
that have events planned for Dog Bite Prevention Week in
their local areas, so you might check your local library or
newspaper to find more information.
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