This week marks National Dog Bite Prevention Week, an effort created by the United States Postal Service to bring awareness to the ever-growing number of dog bites each year. By offering safety tips and prevention techniques, the postal service urges pet owners to act responsibly.
The honest truth is that any dog has the potential to bite. Typically, dogs will bite when they are provoked, either by being hurt or teased, two things that can be prevented with proper supervision. An animal will only stand so much taunting.
No dog owner wants his or her dog to bite anyone. Often, owners are caught off guard especially with dogs that never bit anyone before.
In honor of National Dog Bite Prevention Week, read through these facts about dog bites and accompanied by simple tips from the American Veterinary Association and United States Postal Service to keep your dog, family, and visitors safe.
What You Need To Know 1 of 14
Talking Numbers 2 of 14
Dog bite victims account for up to five percent of emergency room visits. More than 4.5 million people are bitten annually.
Not What You May Think 3 of 14
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) report that small children, the elderly, and letter carriers, in that order, are the most frequent victims.
Protect the Wee Ones 4 of 14
Children are the majority of victims and are 900 times more likely to be bitten than letter carriers. Always watch your child when s/he is playing with a dog. It take a one second yank to the ear for a dog to chomp down on a toddler's hand.
Size Really Doesn’t Matter 5 of 14
Any dog can bite. It doesn't matter if you have a large dog like a Great Dane or a tiny Chihuahua. In fact known as the gentle giants, Great Danes are probably less likely than snappy Chihuahuas to bite. Ironically, according to the NYC Department of Health Chihuahuas are considered the worst biters.
Teach Your Children This 6 of 14
Don't run past a dog. The dog's natural instinct is to chase and catch you.
And This, Too! 7 of 14
If you find yourself in a position where a dog is threatening you, don't scream and don't make eye contact. Try to remain motionless until the dog leaves, and then back away slowly until the dog is out of sight.
Puppy Training 8 of 14
Start your puppy young and touch his mouth, let her see you touching her food bowl while she's eating, etc... This helps get your dog used to hands around his mouth and view it as a normal thing. It also decreases food aggression.
Remind Older Children 9 of 14
Do not pet dogs you don't know, particularly dogs that are leashed up or confined which can make dogs more combative.
Prep Your Pet 10 of 14
Before allowing anyone to pet your dog, encourage them to let your dog see and sniff them before petting the animal.
Formal Education 11 of 14
Consider obedience training to teach your dogs proper behavior and also help you control your dog in any situation.
Be Proactive 12 of 14
When any letter carrier or delivery person comes to your door, keep your dog inside, away from the door, in another room, or on a leash before anything has the chance to go wrong.
Realize Your Pooch May Be Protecting You 13 of 14
Dogs are naturally protective and can mistake a person raising their hands to you (even if to only hand off mail), as a harmful gesture. Take precautions when accepting mail in the presence of your pet.
Socialize, Socialize, Socialize 14 of 14
Dogs that haven't been properly socialized, receive little attention or handling, or are left tied-up for long periods of time frequently turn into biters.
Source: American Veterinary Association
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