Dog Bite Prevention

Published on May 23, 2014 by in Blog


May 18-24, 2014 has been designated as Dog Bite Prevention Week. According to the CDC dog bites were the 11th leading cause of nonfatal injury to children ages 1-4, the 9th for ages 5-9, and 10th for ages 10-14 from 2003-2012. The American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery reports that 26,935 reconstructive procedures were performed in 2013 to repair injuries caused by dog bites. The US Postal Service reports that 5,581 postal employees were attacked by dogs in 2013. Lastly, the American Humane Association reports that 6% of bites to children occur to the head an neck. These statistics were all part of a report by Victoria Stilwell as she kicked off National Dog Week Prevention Week at a press conference in Washington, DC on May 15.

On Saturday, May 18th, I was privileged to attend a lecture at which Jim Crosby, an internationally known expert on dog bite prevention was the featured speaker. The lecture was directed at children but the information was applicable to all of us. Listed below are some important information points from the lecture.

  • Always ask an owner if it is ok to pet the dog.
  • Never hug a dog.
  • Do not put your face level with a dog.
  • If a dog comes after you, make like a tree.
  • Fold your arms and tuck them under your shoulders. If the dog bites you, there is less surface area for it to bite.
  • If a dog knocks you down, curl up into a ball with your arms tucked.
  • Call for help. Do not shout.
  • If you are outside walking, try to get up on a high surface such as a parked car.
  • If you are on a bike or have a backpack, use the bike or backpack to shield yourself from the approaching dog.
  • Restrain from making loud noises which can scare a dog. If you are a parent, try not to have your children shriek around a dog. This is applicable both to strange dogs and dogs that they may know.
  • Never hit a dog on the head continually. Pat it on it’s sides.
  • Never chase or tease a dog.
  • Do not play near a dog while it is eating. Some dogs are food aggressive and toy aggressive.
  • Do not wake a sleeping dog.
  • Treat all dogs with respect.

These are just some helpful tips to avoid dog bites. If you or your child is bitten, the bite should be treated and reported. As soon as possible, get help. Make sure that someone else knows about the incident. Additionally, you or the dog’s owner should contact a dog behaviorist immediately.

Dogs do respond to kindness but will bite if threatened. Even family pets will bite if there is a perceived threat.







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